Friday, February 09, 2007

Health Craze Creating Eating Disorders?

Since Monday, when I received a "Body Mass Index" report in the mail for my 8 year old (done by the school without my input or consent), I have been thinking about a post that asks the question: "Will the health-obsessed and obesity-fueled restrictions placed upon our children fostering eating disorders in the years to come?"

In preparation for the post I was researching past and present estimations pertaining to the prevalence of anorexia and bulimia in the United States. Jackpot:

"...In the first nationally representative study of eating disorders in the United States, researchers have found that their incidence is growing among both men and women, and that binge-eating disorder is even more common than the better known anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The nationwide survey of more than 2,900 men and women, published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry, found that 0.6 percent of the population has anorexia, 1 percent has bulimia and 2.8 percent has a binge-eating disorder.

Lifetime rates of the disorders, the researchers found, are higher in younger age groups, suggesting that the problem is increasingly common. Eating disorders are about twice as common among women as men, the study reports.

Experts not involved in the study called it significant..." (source)

Only healthy snacks in school (meaning unhealthy snacks will make you fat), less TV and video games and more exercise (meaning if you sit and play games you'll be fat), no soda or snack machines in school (if you drink soda you'll be fat) and let's start measuring your BMI in first grade (so we can try to predict if you'll be fat).

I'm not saying that in and of themselves these aren't good suggestions, but why so much emphasis at such an early age? Every time kids turn around someone is telling them how "fat" will ruin their lives. My friend has a first grade girl that won't eat things because she'll get fat". "Fat" shouldn't even be a thought in first grade. And how about the kids that are getting chubby before they have a growth spurt (as mot normal kids do), they get a letter saying their BMI is too high and they are at risk for obesity?! And considering most of the overweight kids you see are the product of overweight parents, making my too-skinny kid munch on carrot sticks isn't helping anyone.

Not to mention this test is totally bogus. Last year my oldest -who no matter how much he eats has every bone in his body visible - came back with a "at risk for overweight" label. I wanted to take a picture of his ribs and spine and re-send the letter back to them.

The nanny state is on the verge of creating a binging and purging population. And I believe that 100%.

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