Junkfood Science: A "very toxic environment:" No, not that one!

December 09, 2006

A "very toxic environment:" No, not that one!

Yet another children’s hospital reports escalating numbers of children requiring hospitalization for eating disorders resulting from trying to be thin and their growing fears of food.

Slimming crisis hits pre-teens

THE number of Victorian children with anorexia has skyrocketed, with experts blaming advertising, celebrity magazines and the nation's obsession with obesity. The Royal Children's Hospital has recorded a surge in the number of children under 14 with the disease this year, treating more than 10 times the cases it handled in 2003. Some of the children are only eight. Three years ago, the hospital treated three children under 14 with the illness. So far this year, it has diagnosed 35...

Part of the problem is the huge emphasis we have on dieting and what children perceive they should look like," said the foundation's [Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria ] Frances Saunders.

The role model for primary school students, she said, was Paris Hilton. "This ideal of the perfect thin person is very pervasive among young people."

Rick Kausman, the Australian Medical Association's spokesman on weight management and body image, blames peer group pressure and society's obsession with obesity. "We are living in a very toxic environment," he said."There is so much focus on weight and body. In our attempt to help kids to be moderate in their eating, we are creating this fear so teenagers are denying themselves food that is normal to have....

Photo source: THIN

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