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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Children at Risk for Eating Disorders

Sep 05, 2011 10:27PM

The obesity rate among youngsters has nearly tripled during the last three decades and given rise to another worrisome trend: Children as young as 10 are making themselves vomit in order to lose weight, reports a new Taiwanese study of 15,716 school pupils, published online by the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Thirteen percent of the girls and boys that took part in the Asian research admitted they made themselves sick to lose weight.

Unfortunately, studies in the United States show similar trends. According to The Eating Disorder Foundation, 46 percent of 10-year-old girls are dieting, have a fear of fatness or are binge eating, and 27 percent of girls ages 12 through 18 show significant eating disorder symptoms. Such findings have prompted researchers to warn that self-induced vomiting is an early sign that children could develop eating disorders and serious psychological problems.

The researchers believe that eating disorders can be successfully tackled by ensuring that children get enough sleep, eat breakfast every day and consume less fried food and fewer night-time snacks. They also recommend spending less time in front of a computer screen.

 Source: Wiley-Blackwell

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