Retailers and brands are preparing to offer more clothing in larger sizes for both men and women after the results of a size survey of the German population showed consumers are getting bigger and taller.

The changes in body measurements, market shares and garment sizes are highlighted by a survey, called 'SizeGermany' - a joint project between the Hohenstein Institute international textile research centre and Human Solutions GmbH, which makes body scanning equipment.

Between July 2007 and October 2008, it took the measurements of 13,362 men, women and children ranging from 6 to 87 years of age.

The results show the body dimensions of Germany's population have changed markedly since the last comprehensive measurements were taken in 1994 (for women) and 1980 (for men).

Women, for example, are around 1.0cm taller and have a bust measurement that is 2.3cm bigger than before. Their waists have increased by 4.1cm and their hips by 1.8cm.

And because today's consumers are taller and larger -more and more people are having problems finding garments to fit them.

The body measurements gathered in the course of the SizeGermany project will be used to update the Hohenstein Sizing Chart, which sets out 44 measurements on which garment manufacturers base their sizes.

More than 100 apparel and automotive companies have helped finance the project in return for exclusive access to results of the measurement study.