Girls as young as 12 fasting, vomiting to shed baby fat

November 14th, 2007 - 8:37 am ICT by admin  
The study, conducted by Dr Jenny O’Dea, a dietician and health educator, Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, examined 8000 children and teenagers.

The data was taken from an earlier survey involving 3948 boys and 4267 girls aged five to 19.

The analysis found that fasting was the most widely practised diet technique for girls aged 12 to 19 years but numbers partaking in both billowed at 14 and 15 years of age.

Smoking to control weight also increased sharply at this point, and doubled to 13 per cent among girls 16 years and over.

Fasting was the only significant issue among boys, affecting 5 per cent across all age groups.

O’Dea said that what was more concerning was the sharp rise in girls adopting these habits at 14 and 15 years of age, when their bodies were naturally “rounding out”.

She said that the study was a proof that girls should be taught about puberty and body image from the age of nine, while still at primary school.

“We’ve got these extremely young girls using these dangerous fad techniques from as young as 12 which is shocking in itself,” quoted O’Dea, as saying.

“Then the numbers doing it shoot up further at 14 once they start to put on that natural layer of body fat normal for all girls in the last stages of puberty.

“They’re fighting against this curvaceous shape in the terrible mistaken belief that it’s actually normal to have no body fat at all,” she said.

O’Dea said that educators should take heed of the pubertal dieting trend among girls. (ANI)

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