Kids as young as 10 under constant pressure to have perfect bod

August 27th, 2009

Washington, Aug 27 (ANI): Kids as young as 10 are living under constant pressure to have the perfect body, say researchers.

The study, led by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Alberta, Canada, showed a linear response for girls, who were happiest when thinnest, and a U-shaped response for boys, who were unhappy when they were too skinny or too fat.

To reach the conclusion, the researchers looked at the relationship between size and body satisfaction, as well as the effects of rural/urban residence, parental education and income, and neighborhood household income on kids.

“There is a well-established relationship between poor body satisfaction and increased risk of disordered weight control behaviors, including vomiting, fasting, and use of laxatives and diet pills for weight control. Importantly, body satisfaction appears to be responsive to school-based interventions,” said Bryn Austin, the lead researcher.

“To increase our understanding of body satisfaction and its links with BMI in childhood, we studied the prevalence of poor body satisfaction in prepubescent girls and boys, and its association with body weight and socioeconomic factors,” she added.

The findings revealed that overall, 7.3pct of girls and 7.8pct of boys reported poor body satisfaction.

For normal weight, overweight and obese girls the prevalence of poor body satisfaction was 5.7pct, 10.4pct and 13.1pct, respectively.

For boys this was 7.6pct, 8.4pct, and 8.1pct, respectively. Girls from parents with low educational attainment and residing in rural areas were more likely to report poor body satisfaction.

“Poor body satisfaction among males with a low BMI may reflect the cultural ideal for males to attain both muscularity and leanness; whereas, among females, thinness remains the culturally defined ideal body shape,” said Austin.

The research is published in the open access journal BMC Public Health. (ANI)

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