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Celeb culture failing teens

5th February 2007

A leading eating disorders charity has warned that the UK’s celebrity driven culture is sensationalising conditions such as bulimia and anorexia.

Beat (the working name of the Eating Disorders Association) says the obsession with celebrities and their weight is having an adverse impact on the mental well-being of children and young adults. Chief Executive Susan Ringwood said, "In today's celebrity driven culture, where people are vilified for gaining weight then stigmatised for losing weight, eating disorders are sensationalised and misunderstood. This is having a devastating impact on young people suffering from eating disorders who feel increasingly alienated and isolated and lack confidence to ask people for advice and support."

Research published by the charity for Eating Disorders Awareness Week, reveals that more than nine out of ten young people who have an eating disorder feel they have nobody to turn to, with only one in one hundred able to talk to their parents. The research also stated that over 80% feel unable to approach their GP or nurse about eating disorders. 

Over a million people in the UK are affected by some kind of eating disorder, with young people facing the greatest risk. Anyone can develop an eating disorder and stress can be a major contributing factor.  High academic expectations, traumatic events, long term illness and concerns over sexuality can all trigger the onset of bulimia or anorexia.  Beat believes some GPs are failing to diagnose eating disorders and is calling on the government ensure treatment guidelines are properly implemented.

 

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