Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorders’

Do We Learn Enough From Children?

November 5, 2014


Sometimes our children show us up as ignorant. In the video above, one simple question is asked: If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?

Watch the difference between the way children interpret the question to the way the adults do.

It’s society that encourages us to be critical of our own bodies – it is not a natural construction.


Click on the link to read Kids as Young as 7 Diagnosed with Anorexia

Click on the link to read The Destructive Impact of the “Fashion Police” Brigade

Click on the link to read The Plus Sized Barbie Debate Misses the Point

Click on the link to read Study Claims that Being Attractive can give you Better Grades

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females


Kids as Young as 7 Diagnosed with Anorexia

May 27, 2014




I think all teachers should be trained to see the signs and implored to report any student behaviour which may lead to anorexia:


AUSTRALIA’S obsession with obesity is feeding deadly eating disorders which are claiming victims as young as 7, including an increasing number of boys.

Experts told a national eating disorders conference on the Gold Coast yesterday of a “toxic culture” of body image which is causing huge physical, psychological and financial harm.

Obsessive dieting was costing lives and almost $70 billion a year in health and productivity expenses, the Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference staged by the Australian and NZ Mental Health Association heard.

Christine Morgan, CEO of l eating disorders charity The Butterfly Foundation, said Australian children as young as seven were being hospitalised for anorexia nervosa and bulimia.



Click on the link to read The Destructive Impact of the “Fashion Police” Brigade

Click on the link to read The Plus Sized Barbie Debate Misses the Point

Click on the link to read Study Claims that Being Attractive can give you Better Grades

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

Click on the link to read An 8-Year-Old’s Take on Body Image

The Short Video You MUST Watch!

January 27, 2013


The teacher that had the courage and drive to make this heartfelt and inspirational video must be congratulated. Catherine Hogan, a teacher from Lindsay Place, has captured the very essence of what drives a caring, passionate teacher and her message is bound to alter some misconceptions felt by many students and parents. I was deeply moved and touched by this poignant and heartwarming clip.

Please watch this video and get your friends and family to do the same. Please notify others about its existence on Facebook and other social media devices. Only 12,624 have watched it from YouTube as I write this. This number doesn’t properly do justice to the quality and raw power of the clip.


Click on the link to read Dying Teacher on Journey to Find Out if he Made a Difference

Click on the link to read Introducing the World’s Oldest Teacher

Click on the link to read School Shooting Showcases the Heroic Nature of Brilliant Teachers

Click on the link to read Meet the Armless Math Teacher

Click on the link to read The Case of a Teacher Suspended for Showing Integrity

Click on the link to read Teaching is Worth It!

We Are Looking at the Anorexia Generation

December 30, 2011

I thought we had enough awareness of anorexia and such diseases long ago to have made inroads in the prevention of this debilitating and tragic condition. It seems unacceptable that rates of anorexia in children have risen. I think that it is partially due to the perception that if you look a certain way you feel a certain way. Weight must only ever be seen to be an issue of health when it comes to children. It saddens me that children who have diverse skills and talents feel worthless because they don’t match up to the often unattainable physical attributes flaunted by the media.

KIDS should not have a care in the world – particularly about how skinny they look. But a shocking report yesterday revealed hundreds of children are being treated in hospitals for anorexia every year.

Two six-year-olds and four seven-year-olds were referred for life-saving care in one area alone. Horrifyingly, one child who got help was just three.

Health bosses yesterday warned the problem was the tip of the iceberg and only one in five young sufferers are having treatment. They also highlighted the growing pressures on children to be skinny, particularly from the celebrities they idolise.

Child psychiatrist Dr Malcolm Bourne said: “I estimate we only deal with 20% of the children who suffer from eating disorders. Long term eating disorders have the worst death rates in child mental health.

“Around 5% die from them eventually, people can be very resistant to treatment. There is no straight forward fix.”

Dr Dasha Nicholls, an adolescent expert, added: “For a minority of children it may be the start of a severe and enduring illness, with death rates comparable to some forms of leukaemia.”

The report yesterday showed 125 children under 18 were treated for anorexia or bulimia by the East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Service since 2007. The majority of those – 109 – were aged 12 to 16.

But many were under 10 including the three-year-old, who was helped earlier this year. Overall, 102 girls and 23 boys were treated by the service.

Childhood Eating Disorders on the Rise

November 8, 2011

I was hoping that since there hasn’t been a great deal of coverage about childhood eating disorders recently, that the numbers suffering this serious disease had dwindled.

It turns out that I was mistaken:

Doctors at the Westmead Children’s Hospital in NSW have told the ABC that child admissions for eating disorders, particularly anorexia, have tripled in the past decade.

Children as young as eight are being admitted, some of whose lives are at risk.

Like other articles on childhood anorexia, fingers are pointed to the media when it comes to metering out the blame:

The head of the hospital’s adolescent medicine department, Susan Towns, suspects the media is to blame.

“Media portrayal can affect the development of body image in young people and this can happen at a stage and an age where children and adolescents aren’t able to conceptualise things in a complex and abstract way and they can take these messages in a very concrete way,” she said.

Whilst I don’t like blaming the media for everything.  I couldn’t help but reflect on the damning study conducted in Fiji, where they found that within three years of introducing television cases of eating disorders among children rose significantly.

The Harvard Medical School visited Fiji to evaluate the effect of the introduction of television on body satisfaction and disordered eating in adolescent girls.

In 1995, television arrived and within three years the percentage of girls demonstrating body dissatisfaction rose from 12.7 per cent to 29.2 per cent.

Dieting among teenagers who watched TV increased dramatically to two in every three girls and the rate of self-induced vomiting leapt from zero to 11.3 per cent.


Fighting for Our Kids’ Self-Esteem

March 4, 2011

There’s a reason why kids are suffering from body image related problems in greater numbers than ever before.  We let them.  Society has a responsibility to ensure that the same dreadful affliction that has had diabolical effects on our generation, doesn’t torment the next.  We have made the mistake of valuing people for all the wrong reasons, putting too high a price on weight, shade and form and too little emphasis on character, personality and integrity.  We place celebrities on pedestal so high, we barely notice that we don’t know anything about them.

Our young notice our insecurities and base a world view on them.  They see the pressures their parents feel about appearance and weight and base their own self-worth on precisely these factors.  Before you know it, you’ve got kids as young as five with eating disorders:

Children are suffering from eating disorders at younger and younger ages according to disturbing new research.

Media consumption, peer pressure and negative messages from parents are all contributing to the problem of poor self-image in children, which can trigger eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. According to the Eating Disorder Resource Centre of Ireland, children as young as five are displaying signs of poor body image – and some seven and eight year olds have developed eating disorders.

Experts are stressing that such disorders are not confined to girls, with little boys also being susceptible. Psychologist and author Deirdre Ryan told that parents can unthinkingly pass on negative messages to their children: “I was speaking with a six-year-old boy who said that he wanted to lose weight – when I asked him why he said: ‘I have a wedding coming up’. That message was more than likely passed on by a parent,” she said, “Parents have to be aware of what they are saying, even in front of boys, and not engage in ‘fat talk’. Children of this age are hypersensitive.”

Parents need to be more aware of their relationship with their own bodies as well, Ryan said: “It is starting younger and younger – but it is also affecting people who are older – spreading across the life span. Now, there is an expectation that even if you’re in your 60s you should conform to a certain image. It’s very damaging.”

Our generation has already let ourselves down by buying in to the media driven lie about what a person should aspire to be like.  We have been fooled into believing that life is about striving to beat aging, keeping a toned figure and withstanding lines and wrinkles.  The beauty industry has made a bundle out of us, and all we are left with in return is confusion, pressure, anxiety and in many cases a battered self-image.  Is this what we want for our children?

It’s great to invest in one’s health and appearance, but it is important that these things don’t take over.  Our children need to see that we place more value in perfecting our character than our figure.  That we consider integrity, honesty, empathy and loyalty on a higher level than six packs or breast size.

As a teacher, there is only so much I can do.  As a parent, I have a big job ahead of me.

Are We Obsessed With Obesity?

December 29, 2010


Sarah McMahon, a specialist on the subject of eating disorders, claims that our obsession with obesity has resulted in increased cases of eating disorders.

“Children are being given maths assignments where they have to count calories,” she said.

“Education is helpful for some people but for some with certain personality characteristics, it can tip them over into a disorder.”

Eating disorder support group Butterfly Foundation chief executive officer Christine Morgan said most anti-obesity messages had a high focus on dieting.

This could lead to disordered eating including binge eating and possibly bulimia or anorexia.

I agree that we may be a little obsessed with the term obesity, but I just don’t see the link between obesity and eating disorders.  I imagine that kids are worried about being larger than their ideal size, sometimes much larger, but I don’t think kids are worried about obesity.  I’m no expert, but I don’t think obesity takes up much of our kids head space.  I think they are worried about not being thin enough to be considered attractive or feel pressured to lose weight to fit in.  But obesity?  I can’t see the link.

Regardless, kids should not be hounded by horror stories on the dangers of obesity or made to count calories.  Instead they should be given the reassurance they need to be comfortable in their own skin, the education they need to make healthy choices and the support they need to be self-assured, confident and happy.

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