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Bullying linked to eating disorders


Getting pushed around on the playground isn't just a childhood cliché.

In fact, it's a serious problem that experts say can be linked to deep psychological trauma and problems for a developing child's self-esteem, sense of worth and ability to form healthy relationships.

More bullying, more eating disorders than two years ago

Now a new study also suggests there's a strong link between the risk of eating disorders and being bullied. Beat, an eating disorder charity in the UK, recently conducted a survey that pulled data from about 600 people. It was done in conjunction with Anti Bullying Week, which took place November 19th-23rd.

The survey found that 78 percent of participants cited bullying as the reason for their eating disorders. Two years ago, only 46 percent said bullying was the cause of their problems with food.

Bullying starts young

In about 44 percent of the cases of this year's study, the bullying lasted more than four years. Nine out of ten participants said that they were bullied "at some time in their life" and about 40 percent said the bullying started when they were under 10 years old.

Chief executive of Beat, Susan Ringwood, says that bullying affects a child's self-esteem--a factor that can often lead to eating disorders in young people.

"Any increase in bullying is very worrying, especially when such young people are involved," she said. "Schools need to make sure their anti-bullying policies are effective and used--and not just a dusty document on a shelf."

Source: Net Doctor UK