Tots Stress about Body Image
An Australian study performed with 53 children across 4 kindergarten classes revealed that parents and teachers are inadvertently sending messages about the “perfect body” to these youngsters.
“They do this by their attitude to their own bodies, and by suggesting to their daughter that they need to exercise more (to lose weight) and to their sons that they need to eat more (to increase their muscles),” said Marita McCabe, the lead researcher on the project.
Are we ever going to get this right?
One reader states:
Having had my then 7 year old come home from school last year saying repeatedly that she wanted to be ‘skinny’ (when she already is), I can relate to this. We turned it around by talking to her about how dangerous being too skinny can be – she had no idea that it could be bad for you but somehow knew that being fat was ‘really bad’ and that ‘exercise makes you skinny’. Advocates of the campaign against child obesity need to be very careful in targeting the PARENTS of obese children rather than issue blanket policies and directives across all children including those in the healthy weight range. Eating disorder admissions in the past six years – since the onset of this campaign have doubled and the average age of onset for eating disorders has come down from 16 to about 12. Anyone else seeing the writing on the wall?
–ab of melbourne
What are your thoughts on the topic?