Weight loss

Kim Kardashian credits corset for tiny midsection, but does 'waist training' work?

Aug. 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM ET

She may be known for her derriere, but the latest Kim Kardashian body part to cause a stir is her waist, cinched tight in a corset and looking tiny in a new Instagram photo.

The picture, posted Thursday, is accompanied by the hashtags “#hourglass #waisttraining #nophotoshopnecessary,” and comes a couple of weeks after the reality TV star complained on Twitter about not being able slim down to her satisfaction after giving birth more than a year ago. 

In the photo, Kardashian is apparently wearing a $139 corset by a company that touts a “potential waist reduction” of seven inches for most people who try the device. Several similar post-partum devices are on the market.

But is that really possible? Can you actually permanently reshape your body with the help of a corset — also known as a girdle? No, said Stephen Ball, an associate professor in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri.

“It’s going to make you look slimmer when you have it on, but I don’t know any physiology that would explain that you’re going to lose body fat by wearing this device,” Ball told TODAY.com.

“People want a quick fix. They don’t want to put in the effort that it actually takes and so I’m sure lots of women will see these pictures and go out and spend their money on these types of devices when they should be focusing on exercise and healthy eating.”

His message to women who want to look like Kardashian in that photo: Don’t make unrealistic comparisons.

Instead, focus on the process of exercise and healthy living and not the product of what you look like or what you weigh, because genetics determines much of your body type, Ball said.

“A lot of women want to be long, lean and slender and no matter what they do, they’re never going to look like the picture on the cover of Vogue,” he added.

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