Parents may want to keep an eye out for their kids who seem to have an aversion to food, as according to The Huffington Post, one out of 10 teenage girls have “extreme levels of fear” of gaining weight.

Researchers from the University College London Institute of Child Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reported worrisome statistics about weight-related anxieties among adolescents, mostly among girls.

Based on data on 7,000 children, 11 percent of 13-year-old girls have an intense fear of getting fat, compared with only 4.7 percent of their male counterparts. Two-thirds of the females and four out of 10 males experienced some form of anxiety related to weight gain, while one-third of the girls and one out of five boys were distraught about their physical appearance.

This fear resulted in some worrisome statistics: 26 percent of the girls surveyed and one out of seven boys skipped meals and subscribed to unhealthy fasting in order to lose what they thought were excess pounds. On the other hand, 53 percent of girls and 41 percent of boys shunned fatty food.

Being aware of maintaining one’s proper weight is important to staying healthy. However, being too conscious of physical appearances to the point of obsessing over everything may turn out to be dangerously unhealthy, and may even lead to conditions such as bulimia and anorexia. Parents need to be aware of the signs of weight-related fears in their children in order to lower the possibility of the development of eating disorders.


(Photo by Barret Anspatch via Flickr Creative Commons)

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