Natalie Turco-Williams | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 28 July 2015

New Study Claims That Our Body Issues Start Aged 8

New Study Claims That Our Body Issues Start Aged 8

The Debrief: ...and by 14, two out of every five girls have started dieting

Body image has always been an issue among women, but according to a new report, it’s also becoming a common issue among British kids. Instead of worrying about whether Santa will bring them toys on Christmas day or not, they’re now watching what they eat, counting calories and purging when they can.

In the largest study to date, the British Journal of Psychiatry has found that body image issues actually start as young as eight. And what’s worse is that results show that by age 14, two in five girls have already started dieting, with a reported 8% being frequent dieters.

But don’t think it’s just girls who struggle with body image issues. In the study, it was reported that at age eight, 3% of boys were already unhappy with their body image and by age 14, 12% of boys had already tried dieting. 

The mixed-gendered study followed 6,140 eight year olds as they entered teenhood and recorded the issues they had with their body image and what they were doing (if anything) to change it. What’s interesting is that the results showed children whose parents suffered from anorexia or bulimia in the past, were more likely to suffer from body image issues.

It was also found that eating disorders were higher in girls than boys – twice as many girls (8%), admitted to binge eating than boys. 

When asked why they felt the need to diet, the most common answer given was the pressure to look like the people they saw in magazines, TV shows and films. Time for a rethink? 

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Orthorexia – The Hidden Eating Disorder Your Best Friend Could Be Suffering From

Think Eating Disorders Are Just For Girls?

Why Positive Reinforcement Like ‘You Look Dangerously Skinny’ Only Fuels Anorexia

Follow Natalie on Twitter @NatalieTurcoWil

Picture: Li Hui 

Tags: Body worries