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eating disorders
binge eaters
adult obesity
obesity rates
childhood obesity
mortality rate
facebook
american adults
boys and girls
Eating Disorders Continue To Take Their Toll On Society: Does Your First Grader Think She Is Fat?
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Eating Disorders Continue to Take their Toll on Society: Does Your First Grader Think She is Fat?

While adult obesity numbers had stabilized somewhat, childhood obesity rates have not. There have been a number of programs that were meant to target the problem with many of them meeting resistance from various groups. But, the focus on weight, appearance and health has taken its toll in other ways as well. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental health disease or condition in the United States and their numbers are increasing dramatically, especially among young men.

Statistics are hard to gather for some of the eating disorders because they are often mistaken for other conditions or are hidden until they are so far advanced that only serious medical intervention can help. But, conservative estimates put the number of women fighting either anorexia or bulimia at or above ten million. One million men or more are sad to have one or both of those conditions. Thirteen million American adults are regular binge eaters with nearly four times that number occasionally binging whether they purge afterward or not. Other statistics are even more frightening. According to one study, the more time that a girl spends on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, the higher her risks of developing an eating disorder becomes.

Hospitalizations, including those for long term care directly linked to eating disorders have increased dramatically, nearly twenty percent overall but more than double that for just men alone. The highest rate of increase has been with kids ages 12-18 at 119%. Kids are starting to worry about their weight and appearance at younger and younger ages according to a number of surveys. In one, nearly eighty percent of ten year old boys and girls said that they were "afraid" of being or becoming fat. And nearly half of the kids in first through third grade told surveyors that they would like to be thinner than they currently were. Kids as young as three are already obsessing about their weight.

The media does play a role in that weight obsession, as does the fashion industry. The average American woman is roughly five foot, four inches tall and weighs around 140 pounds while the average fashion model is at least four inches taller and thirty pounds lighter. Even kids that have limited television time is bombarded with the messages even from their own parents. By estimates, the average woman spends nearly one third of her life in the process of a diet or weight loss program, fueling the forty billion dollar dieting industry and setting an example for her children in the process.


Street Talk

I agree that it is an excellent article. I have family members who suffer with that disorder. I have a daughter now and hope to be a good role model for both her and her brothers. Anyway, thanks for the article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Good article and interesting for those with or without an eating disorder. With anything, the more we educate and people understand the problem, the better chance there is for people to get the right kind of help.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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