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Bollywood fans turning to pills to gain shapely figures like...

Critics who blasted Bollywood's curvy-chic Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for not battling her baby bulge soon enough might have to eat their words.

Instead of fighting flab, some fans are resorting to popping pills in a desperate attempt to pile on pounds. Their aim is to flaunt full-bodied figures like the former Miss World, as well as actress Vidya Balan, who shot to fame for showing off her sex-siren stature in 2011 hit 'The Dirty Picture'.

Yet doctors have warned that resorting to steroid-based medication to gain weight can result in serious harm to the body. Senior consultant paediatrician Dr Sanjeev Bagai told 7DAYS: "I see three to four cases almost every month of young girls who have taken these pills to change their body shape because they are influenced by celebrities."

Dr Bagai, the director at Radiant Life Care in Delhi, who treats girls who have suffered serious side effects from the 'fat pills', said the phenomenon is not just happening in India as girls across the globe want to look more feminine and gain curves.

"Initially the pills work, but they end up with osteoporosis, liver and kidney damage and other side effects. In some cases the damage is reversible. The bottom line is that no one should take steroids unless prescribed by a doctor," added Dr Bagai.

Heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor told 7DAYS he is strongly against the concept of women using the 'fat pills'. Aside from the dangers, the star said women should not feel pressured to follow weight trends. He said: "It's crazy. A woman is at her best when she's just herself."

The 'Barfi' actor insisted that people should learn to love their natural figures."Weight is always something you can drop or put on. Yes, obesity is a disease, as is anorexia, so the focus should be on being healthy. And food is great, so why pop pills to put on weight? Just eat what you like and enjoy it instead," he said.

Unsurprisingly, Kapoor, who is rumoured to be dating curvy B-town diva Katrina Kaif, added: "I prefer curvy women."

Director-producer-actor Arbz Khan told 7DAYS he thought the idea of taking pills to put on weight was "ridiculous". "I've never heard of it, and I don't know whether something like that is even possible. Why pills? All you have to do is take less care of your diet and exercise," he said.

Khan is married to model-turned-actress Malaika Arora, whose perfect silhouette is envied worldwide, and he said his wife would also disapprove of such drastic measures. "I think my wife would say it's ridiculous too, because no matter what she always maintains herself in a healthy way," he said.

But the 'Dabangg' actor said he doesn't agree with the stereotype of Indian actresses being curvy. He said: "I don't think that's the definition of Bollywood. I don't think women in the Indian film industry today are any less fit than what you see internationally. Look at Deepika, Bebo, Priyanka - these are extremely fit girls."

However, Khan did admit that it's positive to see a reversal of the size-zero trend. "I guess the size zero obsession is changing. Hindi films are still a lot about the 'matkas and jhatkas' [shaking hips] and dancing, and wearing outfits where you need a bit of weight - you don't need to be fat, but you need to look healthy rather than skinny."

Model-turned-star Neha Dhupia agreed with Khan. She told 7DAYS: "If the world is becoming curvy all thanks to Bollywood, it's a great place to be - provided that people are being healthy, rather than popping pills."

Dubai-based fitness expert Rica Rodriquez also warned people against taking pills to fatten up. The group exercise manager at Fitness 360 said: "Taking pills without prescription is dangerous. They can be abused."

Rodriquez added that side effects include nausea, allergies and hormonal imbalances. "And it may result in you putting on weight, but not in areas where you want to. It's best to get advice on how to gain the healthy way - which includes altering your diet, exercising and giving your body enough time to rest, recover and adapt."


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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 16, 2013
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