Children as young as 7 are dieting, poll shows

Kids under 10 feel pressured to lose weight, and bullying is playing a role

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Nearly a quarter of children aged 7 to 18 have gone on a diet because of bullying and the need to fit in, results of a poll have revealed.

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According to the poll of 1,500 young people (aged 7 to 18), nearly a quarter have been on a diet in the year and more than 40% of under-10s are concerned about their weight.

Two thirds (66%) of the under 10s who took part in the poll admitted to weighing themselves, with 37% doing so on a regular basis. Also, 38% said their weight worries were influenced by a “diet obsessed society.”

The survey has also found 28% of young people have been bullied because of their weight and 26% of these weight-conscience kids have even skipped meals.

Young people aged 11 to 13 seem to be particularly interested in dieting as 77% of this age group admitted to weighing themselves. Also, 44% said they’ve been bullied over their size and 51% said they feel the pressure of society’s expectations.

The poll, carried out by online survery companies, Onepoll and Youngpoll, was commissioned for the ITV1 programme Dying To Be Thin: Tonight.

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