Weight expectations

Friday's Aftonbladet splashed with the tragic - if cautionary - news that a healthy 25 year-old woman died after a simple liposuction operation in a private Stockholm clinic, Akademikliniken. The woman went in for the routine procedure last Wednesday but on Saturday evening she collapsed with breathing difficulties. Early on Sunday morning she died.

“We still don’t know if the operation caused her death,” said Akademikliniken’s chief executive, Per Heden.

But Aftonbladet pointed out that liposuction can lead to haemorrhage, infection and even blood clots, before reminding us that “liposuction is one of the most common operations in Sweden” with up to 4,000 procedures a year.

Perhaps that explains rival tabloid Expressen’s front cover story on the same day. “Lose weight with pasta” it screamed, and on balance that’s preferable to infection and blood clots. According to “new research which will make all pasta-lovers happy”, pasta is the perfect carbohydrate, slowly raising the blood sugar level. The paper even included a few helpful tips from a pair of pasta-loving sisters who lost a whopping 50kg between them by eating pasta.

The body theme continued back in Aftonbladet, which reported that Swedish women’s breasts have increased by an average of two sizes in the last twenty years. One reason is simply that Swedish women are now taller and heavier. But it’s also because “more women are having breast enlargements and taking the pill”. And just for clarity, Aftonbladet’s graphics department stuck a couple of lego-like nipples on the headline.