Young Children Are Developing Eating Disorders

According to a report by the National Post, children as young as five years old are now experiencing eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Head of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Dr. Leora Pinhas, recently described a new troubling trend she has watched develop over the last few years. She described the jump in total youths in her program at this point compared to five years ago when the majority of her work was for teens to be extremely substantial.

Pinhas’ sentiments echo the statistics that have been released on the subject. According to a recent study in Britain, over the past three years, 197 kids age five to nine in the U.K. have sought out treatment for an eating disorder. Furthermore, in the same period in Canada, the total amount of children who sought out help for eating disorders was 166.

“We see children in sports like gymnastics, skating, and ballet where they get clear messages that how tall they are and how heavy they are will affect whether they can be competitive,” said Prof. Pinhas, adding that kids in these situations are told to lose weight and are rewarded if they do.
“Someone with a BMI of 25 is overweight; someone with a BMI of 45 is obese, but it’s seen as the same thing,” Prof. Pinhas said.

“Kids are learning about good foods and bad foods. For the wrong kid to be told sugar is bad for you, then they go home and don’t eat sugar and will also think other things must be bad,” said Prof. Pinhas. “Kids are very black-and-white thinkers. There are no greys; it’s all or nothing.”

Photo: Pixabay

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