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Information and Statistics - Children

For children, around 25% of teenage girls say they have an eating disorder.  At the other end of the scale though 1 in 4 5 year olds and 1 in 3 11 year olds are obese.  Estimates over what proportion of this (probably not the 5 year olds) is related to binge eating problems vary, but for adults well over half who are obese are fighting some kind of binge eating disorder so they are setting themselves up for a lifetimes struggle with food.  Studies show that being overweight when you are younger makes you more at risk of developing bulimia when you are older.  1/3 or girls and nearly 1/4 boys place great importance on weight or shape for what they think of themselves and around 40% of girls and 26% boys show signs of body shape disturbance (i.e. they think they are fat when they are not).

Binge eating is reported by over 10% girls and 3% boys and meanwhile over 10% of teenagers admit to using purging of some kind to try to control their weight.  90% of teenage girls hate their bodies and 67% want to lose weight although only about 20% are actually overweight.  Of those who want to lose weight over 3/4 want to lose more than a stone.  By the time girls are 13 2/3 have already been on a diet (actually that is probably an underestimate...).

Rates of eating disorders are at an all time high with some studies suggesting as many as 1/4 of adolescent girls are struggling with their eating.


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