Posts Tagged ‘Diets’

Our Young Children Shouldn’t Even Know What a Diet Is?

November 28, 2012

Message: Negative imagery painted with words like these are looked at by 500,000 people per year, a study has found

Our generation took body consciousness to a whole new level, with quite devastating results. We were taught to judge others not by the breadth of their character but by the size and shape of their bodies. It saddens me that this obsessive desire to look a certain way has seemingly overridden the desire of being a good person, resisting to gossip, being truthful and loyal to the people around us and acting with integrity. We live in a society where people would sell their souls for a preferred dress size and confidence is based on form and complexion over character development.

What has this philosophy provided us with?

Depression, peer pressure, cosmetic surgery addiction, diet crazes, suicide, bullying, anorexia and bulimia.

And what are we doing about it?

Passing the sickness on to our very young:

The internet is awash with pro-anorexia websites which thousands of girls – some as young as six – are using to compete against each other in deadly starvation games, a study has found.

More than 500 of these ‘gruesome’ sites exist and encourage vulnerable young women to barely eat and just drink coffee, smoke and take diet pills to look like a ‘goddess’.

Using the phrase ‘starving for perfection’ they say users should eat no more than 500 calories a day – the recommended level is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

They also include ‘thinspiration’ sections with images of super-slim women and in the last year 500,000 girls have admitted visiting them, and one in five were aged between six and 11.

University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich has carried out research into the issue and found than many of these websites are set up by people with anorexia and other eating disorders.

‘It starts with an individual who wants to share their experience and as they get a following they set themselves up as almost Goddess-like,’ researcher Dr Emma Bond, senior lecturer in childhood and youth studies said.

‘When I started this research last January I came across a website set up by a girl who was disgusted with herself because she had put on a few pounds at Christmas. She planned to fast for three days and regain control.

‘In under two hours, she had 36 followers saying things like “You’re wonderful, you’re an inspiration to me, I’m only fasting because of you”.’

Some of the people are even posting pictures of themselves in very few clothes on thousands of blogs and on social media like Twitter.

Official figures show that one in 200 women and one in 2,000 men have anorexia – which means they starve themselves or exercise excessively to stay slim – although some experts believe the true number is much higher.

Around eight per cent of women and one per cent of men develop bulimia at some point. They binge on excessive amounts of food then make themselves sick or use laxatives to stop gaining weight.

Many sufferers of eating disorders hide their problem from family and friends by pretending they have already eaten to avoid meals and wearing baggy clothes to conceal their skeletal shape.

Doctors believe that anorexia or bulimia is more common in people who are perfectionists, tend to worry a lot or are often depressed.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Click on the link to read Most People Think This Woman is Fat

Click on the link to read It’s Time to Change the Culture of the Classroom

Click on the link to read Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image

About these ads

It’s Time to Change the Culture of the Classroom

January 5, 2012

I have a confession to make. As driven as I am to help my students master the curriculum, there is something more important to me than their academic achievement. I would not be even remotely satisfied if my students were at or above the national standard in numeracy and literacy if they also happened to be bullying, bullied or struggling to cope with everyday life. Conversely, if my students were below national standards but were functioning well and getting along with each other, I would be far more satisfied.

That’s not to say that I don’t understand that a vital function of my job is to educate. I know that all too well. It’s just that I wont let that distract me from my mission in setting up a classroom that is caring, friendly and allows each child to express themselves in their own unique way.

I am sick and tired of reading about how bullying is causing kids as young as 7 to diet. It infuriates me that so little is done by teachers to protect young kids from this stigma and prevent bullies from causing distress. I know what I am claiming will be seen as a gross generalisation, but how many teachers are prepared to overlook a hurtful comment about weight or ignore the activity by the “in-crowd?”

No classroom should have an “in-crowd”. In-groups cannot exist without a readily defined “out-group”. It is a teacher’s job to foster a classroom environment without such divisions. It is more important than any equation or scientific experiment.

Diet Book Targets 6-12 Year-Olds!

August 18, 2011

 

You don’t need me to tell you that it is unhealthy for preteens to target.  I would go even further than that and say that it’s unhealthy for preteens to be fixated on their weight to begin with.

Writing a book advocating child dieting is irresponsible and potentially destructive:

A book aimed at helping young children lose weight has outraged an eating disorder help group.

Maggie Goes on a Diet, aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, tells the story of an overweight girl who goes on a diet and goes on to become the school soccer star.

Its Hawaiian publishers pitch the book on their website as an inspirational tale for kids.

“Maggie has so much potential that has been hiding under her extra weight,” the website says.

Deb Schwarz, manager of Eating Difficulties Education Network (EDEN), a New Zealand not-for-profit organisation, says the book could have the opposite effect, and encourage eating disorders among children.

“Research shows poor body image is associated with depression, bullying, eating disorders, risk taking behaviours, and reduced physical activity. Messages like those in the book promote body dissatisfaction.”

She says there are concerns that dieting messages increase disordered eating in children.

This is another sad situation of literature published for the purpose of stirring controversy and making money at the expense of the vulnerable.

Not good enough!

Does Obesity Equate to Child Abuse?

July 17, 2011

Last week Harvard obesity specialist David Ludwig advocated putting children in temporary foster care when the child is found to be obese.   The obvious conclusion being, that in his opinion, allowing your child to get to the stage of obesity equates to a form of child abuse.

I don’t agree with this statement or the measures advocated by Mr. Ludwig.  And more importantly I think the debate will distract rather than positively influence what is a very important issue.  I appreciate the words of Dr. Arthur Caplan, the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania who wrote:

“I am not letting parents off the hook,” he wrote in response to the article, “but putting the blame for childhood obesity on the home and then arguing that moving kids out of homes where obesity reigns is the answer is short-sighted and doomed to fail. We need the nation to go on a diet together and the most important places to start are the grocery store, schools and media.”

My only query on the above quote is why he omitted “home”.  Surely “home” is the most important place to start a change of habits.  Not just in what is eaten, but how food is eaten.  It is sad to hear of the demise of family dinners.  Surely the television and computers can be switched off for half-an-hour every evening.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,043 other followers

%d bloggers like this: