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Healthy Teenagers Unhappy With Their Bodies

Update Date: Jul 23, 2012 09:05 AM EDT
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Providing yet another evidence on how young girls are taking extreme steps to chase the media defined "perfect" and thin bodies, a recent research has found that schoolgirls as young as 12 are not happy with the way they look. They wish they were thinner and are skipping meals to lose weight.

According to the research conducted by Schools Health Education Unit, half of the 12 and 13 year olds and 58 per cent of 14 or 15 year olds said that they wanted to lose weight.

For the research, researchers quizzed 31,354 boys and girls aged ten to 15 about their dietary habits and body image.

It was found that the girls were skipping meals and controlling diets to loset weight with one-fourth of them having missed their breakfast on the morning they were quizzed and 20 percent of them skipping lunch the day before.

Also, of those who had skipped breakfast 36 percent had skipped lunch the previous day.

"An analysis of the characteristics of the year ten females shows that most of those wanting to lose weight are within the limits of "healthy" weight, and some are already underweight," said the researchers according to Mail Online.

The survey also found that most of the children in years eight and ten felt being 'in charge' of their health.

According to campaigners, the results do not come as a surprise considering how much youngsters are exposed to airbrushed images of celebrities in magazines.

"One of the key features of current popular culture is a preoccupation with weight and shape and we know that poor body image and low self-esteem are key factors in the development of eating disorders," a spokesman for eating disorder charity Beat was quoted.

Young adults are increasingly feeling under pressure to get thin frames. It is not very surprising that adolescents are trying to copy celebrities, their clothing and their bodies. What is more surprising that that in spite of all these research findings and reports about more and more younger children turning anorexic with each passing day, there still has not been any action taken to prevent magazines and other media outlets to put a ban on airbrushing photographs of celebrities and models. Anorexia has started hitting growing number of women and girls alike around the world and had turned out to be fatal in some cases.

"Celebrities are scrutinized for flaws and imperfections, leading young people to consider their own bodies in a critical light too. Into this mix is added airbrushing and digital manipulation of images, creating a hyper-real perfection. Young people compare themselves unfavorably to these images and some are more affected than others, usually because they are more vulnerable," the spokesman for eating disorder charity Beat added.

Also, the research found that many a participants in the research felt that they were not getting enough sleep and hence were unable to concentrate in school.

The results revealed that 28 percent girls and 22 percent of boys among the participants studying for year ten felt the need for more sleep.

It seems, while around 80 per cent of the students (boys and girls) in year eight thought they got the recommended eight hours of sleep, only 65 percent of those in year 10 felt so.

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