UK Men’s Waistlines Slim as Business Lunches Disappear

British men’s waistlines have shrunk since the financial crisis cut the number and length of business lunches, a London tailor specialized in making suits for executives in the City said on Friday.

According to tailors Norton & Townsend, British men have lost more than half an inch off their waist because of the credit crunch, as expense accounts slimmed down or totally disappeared.

“The majority of our clients are at executive level who would have seen a business lunch almost as part of their daily working life,” said Austen Pickles, head of Norton & Townsend, in a statement. “But that is no longer the case with expense accounts and lazy lunches out of keeping with the downturn in the economic climate.”

Norton & Townsend said the average waist size had dropped from 36 to 34 ½, while chest sizes shrunk from 44 to 42, with recession-proof London seeing the drop after other cities such as Leeds, Newcastle, and Manchester.

“With the emergence of so many different online networking platforms, businesses can often do without the business lunch with its demands on time and finances. It is most noticeable as average sizes drop,” Pickles said.

Another consequence of the cut in business lunches, according to the tailor, is that men are now choosing “finer, lightweight, higher performance fabrics” to go with their svelte figure.