According to Australian government health data, a significant proportion of Australians are getting bigger.

Based on the survey conducted by the Australian Medical Association of 6,140 participants, with 54.1 percent female (average age: 56.5 years), four in ten were obese, three in 10 were overweight and only a quarter were of normal weight. The deductions were based on their body mass index (BMI) and/ or waist circumference.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) survey recorded similar rates of being overweight, seen among Australian females and males which increased with age. Those of 15 to 24 years of age had 37 percent and those aged 55 and above, a total of 74 percent.

According to Myer's director of women's accessories and children's wear, Judy Coomber, they have been testing the acceptance of customers on sizes of 18 to 20 mannequines, up from the size 16 used before, as they are focusing in the plus-size department for larger women.

It's still wise not to expect mannequins bigger than a size 10 in the Miss Shop or at the regular women's fashion departments which are already a size or two smaller than the average Australian woman's dress size.

Ms Coomber says The mannequins are designed to reflect the fashion stores... so the customers can see what takes their eye.

Eva Cox, the chairwoman of the Women Electoral Lobby said Myer's use of larger mannequins did not go far enough. She stresses that if they are determined to change the image they push to women, they should be advertising their normal ranges with mannequin size 12 and 14, which is much more the normal size, not just increasing the 16s, 18s and 20s in the plus sizes.

She says that having mannequins of various sizes, not just size 10 is what they should do. By appealing to only those of the size 10, they're making other people feel uncomfortable.

Ms Coomber says You've got to sell a dream - you seriously don't want to put mannequins out there with love handles and beer bellies.