Reality TV fuels demand for cosmetic surgery

A new report published in the Medical Journal of Australia has suggested that an increase in cosmetic surgery procedures over the last few years could be connected to the rise of reality TV programmes.

According to the data, four out of five patients surveyed seeking first-time cosmetic surgery stated that they were influenced by reality television shows about plastic surgery.

The research, conducted by the University of Auckland in New Zealand, showed that the number of plastic surgery operations in Australia had risen by 15 per cent between 2006 and 2007.

In addition, it was revealed that more patients in the UK were seeking cosmetic surgery than ever, with the greatest rise in popularity reserved for anti-ageing treatments like facelifts and eye bag removal.

What's more, cosmetic surgery procedures in the USA in 2007 were said to be 59 per cent higher than in the year 2000.

Television shows cited in the study were The Biggest Loser Australia, in which a contestant lost 47 per cent of his starting body weight, and the 2004 US series of The Swan, which saw its participant undergo 13 cosmetic procedures, including a brow lift, liposuction, tummy tuck, eye and mid-face lifts.

In the UK, popular cosmetic surgery-related TV shows like 10 Years Younger and Super Botox Me, have done much to raise the profile of aesthetic procedures with the viewing public.

This week, reality TV star Kerry Katona had her breast reduction and liposuction filmed for a new programme on MTV, while glamour model Katie Price - the star of ITV's reality hit, Katie & Peter: The Next Chapter - has also recently undergone breast reduction surgery.