Children’s attitudes to body image under investigation

Government inquiry launched today to investigate children’s self esteem and attitudes towards their bodies

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An inquiry begins today to learn more about what British children think of their bodies. A group of MPs from all parties will be investigating children’s attitudes to their bodies, including the effect of the media on conditions such as anorexia, obesity and self-harm.

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The investigation follows figures from earlier this year that revealed children as young as 6 are being admitted to hospital for anorexia. A further study, by the charity Central YMCA, found that over 50% of girls and more than a third of boys aged between 11 and 16 compared their bodies to people on TV.

“Young people appear to be increasingly insecure about their appearance and body image,” said Rosi Prescott, from Central YMCA.

The inquiry will be chaired by MP Jo Swinson, who voiced her concerns about airbrushed images being used in the media and advertising. Diet companies, cosmetic surgeons, health food chains and fashion experts will be giving evidence at the inquiry.

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