Study Finds 5-Year-Olds Being Treated for Eating Disorders

Health & Wellness on 08.05.11

A recent study of 16,000 children in Taiwan showed that kids as young as ten admitted to forcing themselves to vomit in order to lose weight, but a new study from the UK found that disordered eating habits can start even earlier: Of 600 under-13 year olds who were treated for an eating disorder in the study, nearly 100 of them were between 5 and 7 years old

Parenting reports that, of the 2,100 children in the report, all of whom were younger than 16, 197 of the patients were between the ages of 5 and 9 -- a result, say some experts, of super-thin celebrities. "Girls see the pictures iin magazines of extremely thin women and think that is how they should be," says Susan Ringwood of B-eat. 

The UK's Telegraph points out the the numbers are likely to be too low, since some hospitals refused to disclose the information -- but that girls as young as 7 "who looked at outline drawings of women thought the thinner ones were happier and more popular than those with slightly larger outlines." 

How are you helping your daughter maintain a healthy body image?

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Photo: alancleaver_2000/Creative Commons 

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