Anorexic teenagers and children

The rise in anorexic teenagers and children is frightening to see. So too is the young age that young girls start to become aware of their bodies. A recent survey conducted by the national heart, lung and blood institute of girls aged 9 -10 showed that 40% have tried to lose weight.
Another study conducted by the national institute on media and family showed that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are "unhappy with their bodies." This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.

One problem is that the increase in anorexic teenagers and those suffering from other eating disorders is accompanied by a dramatic increase in the pro anorexic sites that educate vulnerable young people on ways to become anorexic.
I have gained access to some of these sites and am appalled at the way in which these very vulnerable girls are encouraging each other to continue starving themselves.
More than ever it is important to be aware of the effect that the media, in various forms, affects our children. Building their self esteem, and our own, and teaching them to value themselves enough to see the pressures around them as irrelevant is crucial for the health of our society.
For many parents, the epidemic of eating disorders is frightening. As anorexia and other eating disorders are increasing amongst boys and men, it is not just those with daughters who are concerned.One of the reasons for the fear is that parents often don't know what an eating disorder involves, and what they need to watch out for.
It is easy for parents to feel out of their depth if they are afraid their son or daughter may be suffering from an eating disorder.
The key is not to panic. Learning about eating disorders, and the ways to deal with it is the answer. I was once anorexic. I recovered and am determined to help others to do so also.

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