Or at least that's what the folks in charge of sizing underwear around here say. I was at Carrefour looking for some suspiciously hard-to-find size 'M' undies, when it dawned on me that there sure were a lot of 'XXL' and '3XL' options, and absolutely no 'S.' Rather than try to make sense of the numbers that followed each size (not metric, some other weird system) I found some loose pairs and determined that I had walked right into a different cultural norm. I am presently wearing some comfortably snug 3XL boxers.
But what's interesting isn't what you would expect--we all know Chinese folk tend to the slightly smaller-on-average frame. Rather, it was that the most common sizes (based on shelf-space) were 'XL' and 'XXL.' Now I know this happens quite frequently in America, but there is no obesity epidemic here. These are definitely smaller sizes. Perhaps it's an element of hip-hop culture (the NBA and Rap are up-and-up scenes, with their plethora of 'X's), or maybe it's just subconscious compensation, but I don't think I've ever felt quite so large.