Kids Are Becoming Obsessed With Body Image — New Report

Mon, November 28, 2011 4:18pm EST by 1 Comment

Unhealthy body image is no longer just a teen or an adult problem — now kids as young as five are suffering from it!

A new study has shown that as much as half of girls and a third of boys are attempting to achieve a perfect body or reach an ideal weight! Eating disorders are usually associated with young women, so it’s disturbing to see that this self complex is affecting children of all ages, regardless of gender, according to The Daily Mail.

Attractive celebrities such as Blake Lively and Ryan Gosling are over-exposed to today’s youth and encompass their idea of ideal beauty. Some celebrities would rather not be seen as role models, but their fans are still heavily influenced by them. So when does vanity cross the line?

810 children between the ages of 11 to 16 were surveyed in the study, and it was discovered that more than half of girls and a third of boys claimed that they compared their bodies with those of celebrities they saw on TV.  Also, they admitted that they would undergo plastic surgery to copy their idols!

Even scarier is the fact that their insecurities encourage them to take extreme measures to achieve their ideal look. One in eight girls are likely to take diet pills and laxatives, while one out of 10 boys are more prone to take steroids to become more muscular.

Rosi Prescott, chief executive of Central YMCA, the charity which created the survey, said: ‘‘The root cause of this problem is the pressure on young people to conform to an unattainable and unrealistic body image ideal.’ The study also showed that kids as young as five are being treated for anorexia.

The members of the Parliament (MP) in the UK are planning on conducting a survey regarding body image, anorexia, obesity and self harm after a prior survey indicated that celebrities, the fashion industry and advertisements were at fault for promoting thinness.

As the government tries to tackle this self image issue, Jo Swinson, the MP in charge of the new survey claims that people are misguided by wanting to emulate computer enhanced images and suggests a simple solution.”One way to tackle it is to encourage people to feel confident about their body.”

It’s frightening to realize that self image disorders are beginning to affect children that are so young and hopefully huge steps can be taken to end this negative view they have on themselves.

Do you think Hollywood and celebrities are to blame for this issues children are faced with today?

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-Giselle Castro

More studies:

  1. Are High-Achieving Parents A Link To Rise In Autism?
  2. Good News: Teen Mom Birth Rate Is Down
  3. New Study: Fatherhood Makes Bad Boys Become Good Guys

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Judy Avrin/Someday Melissa

Posted at 5:53 PM on November 29, 2011  

This is a global issue. My daughter Melissa died 2 years ago at the age of 19 after battling bulimia for 5 years. There are many factors that cause eating disorders, but the focus on skinny celebrities and the media are a huge part of the problem. I’ve made it my mission to help raise awareness by creating “Someday Melissa”, a documentary inspired by Melissa’s journal writings.

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