Mums have been warned that there is a worrying trend of young children wanting the body shape of celebrities and models in their quest to be thin.
One study, undertaken by researchers at the University College London’s Institute of Child Health, discovered that children as young as six have been hospitalised to receive treatment for anorexia and other eating disorders.
A recent study of 16,000 young boys, conducted by the Journal of Clinical Nursing, has found that 16 per cent of boys aged ten to 12 years old have forced themselves to be sick. This is compared to 10 per cent of girls of the same age.
Rosi Prescott, Chief Executive of Central YMCA, said: “Today’s story about the shocking rise in cases of bulimia among adolescent boys, sadly, comes as little surprise to us. Research we have commissioned this year showed that it’s not just teenage girls – traditionally the focus of body anxiety concerns and campaigns – who are developing issues about their appearance, weights and image.”
A recent television show Good Morning in America conducted a survey on air asking a group of five to eight years their opinions on their body image. A six year old girl was worried she was fat after a comment was made at school.
There is help available if you are worried that your child may be developing an eating disorder.