October 28, 2009

Hey Obama! This Is The Real Pandemic

Well I just posted about this on Buttercup, but it pissed me off too much not to blog about.
  • In a study of 4th-grade girls, 90% were on some type of diet.
This is what I know: 4th grade girls are about nine years old; they are generally prepubescent; they have A CRAP TON of growing left to do (women don't stop growing till late in their teens), and in order to properly develop, you need proper nutrition.

Just touching on the physical part of this, diets are about rules and restriction, usually excluding one kind of food or another or trying to eat a lower number of calories and/or fat. What do you think this would do to a child's growth? Kids need all kinds of food and plenty of it - they need their carbs, their fats, their proteins, their vitamins and minerals and yes, even their ice cream cones. Their bodies need it, so I am afraid to even ponder the repercussions of this sad statistic.
If you think I'm nuts and it's perfectly fine for a child to diet, then check this stat:
  • In 1992, the National Institutes of Health held investigatory hearings and concluded that diets do not work and may even be dangerous to one's health.
Now let's move onto the psychological implications. These girls are dieting for a reason, the reason could be that their parents put her on this diet, or maybe she's just copying what her mother does (as kids tend to do), maybe she feels fat, ugly, not up to par with whatever ideal nine year old girls look up to today (I shudder to think). Whatever the case, some of these children are not happy with their bodies and some will end up being unhappy with their bodies if they stay on this track. I don't know about you, but when I was a wee girl I didn't really think about my body in any terms besides 'this is my body and it does stuff.' I never looked at it, or parts of it, and felt a need to change it. For most healthy children, I think that's the case - we have no reason to start comparing shapes and sizes as long as we can run and jump and skip and enjoy being nine.

These poor girls don't stand a chance. I'm sorry, but how healthy can a child's self-esteem be if they are dieting? It's a hard, long road ahead for a girl who has the misfortune of being uncomfortable in her own skin before she's even had a chance to fill it out.

What this says about our society is literally deafening because people sure aren't hearing a damn thing. Kids should be busy being kids and not worrying about diets. Considering how mentally trying the diet game is (and if you've been there you know what I'm talking about), imagine what it does to a nine year old girl.

Alright, so who's going to fork up the money to pay for all the therapy these children will need when they get older?

1.2% of people in America with H1N1 have died.

18-20% (roughly) of people with eating disorders die. Where's the state of emergency for this pandemic? Srsly.

Love M


  1. I'm a moderator for the leading Dutch organisation for people who suffer from eating disorders. We now see more and more young girls join our forums, and more and more parents who are beside themselves with worry over their child who just refuses to eat.

    It's difficult to pinpoint what might trigger these young kids to stop eating, or even worry about their weight. Maybe it is a parent who is on a diet, or a parent who is clearly overweight, maybe it is the rolemodels in the media, maybe it is the constant 'kids today are getting obese' and the health-advice we hear in the media day in day out..

    I know when I was 10, I thought of myself as being fat. Looking back I wasn't, but the schooldoctor told me I should go for a run more often, and I was the first girl to develop a bit (and the first to get her period). I once even drew a picture of myself in my diary, pointing out all the ugly parts of my body. I was about 11 then.

    Selfesteem is MUCH more important then we give it credit. If you have a solid base on which to fall back on, you're less likely to compare and worry. I think that should be as much in the media as 'kids today are only interested in computergames and fast food'....

  2. I think it's a combination of society, media, parents/role models, and probably other stuff too.

    I wish adults could see the damage they might do to a child by saying seemingly innocent things about their body. They have enough to contend with.

    Self esteem is a MUST - my heart goes out to these girls, I'd like to help in some way.


Thanks for reading <3