Home > Uncategorized > Dying to be Thin: How we are Destroying our Countries Future.

Dying to be Thin: How we are Destroying our Countries Future.

Tonight’s episode on Thursday was titled “Dying to be Thin”. The show had some truly shocking statistics.

The show opened with the statistic that 200 5-7 year-olds are being hospitalised a year with anorexia. They are FIVE, SIX & SEVEN year olds for crying out loud. They shouldn’t be worrying about their weight!

How bad of a society are we, that we are pressuring our kids into starving themselves? I remember being that age and didn’t care in the world what I looked like. I think that was down to my liberal philosophy and my parents telling me, that it didn’t matter.

We are bombarded with images on billboards of photoshopped skinny-melinks as well as a media that hates how “normal” people look. Women in show business tend to have cosmetic surgery as they get older if they want to continue to be successful. We are showing an image to kids especially girls on how one is “supposed” to look. This is causing them to think they are too fat, plus pressure from peers who get the same image, and call each other fat.

All this pressure on kids to look a certain way causes them to diet and restrict their calories because they think if they are thinner, they will be more “accepted”, happier and more confident. Whilst if the were fatter, they’d think they would be more lonely, sad and less confident. The Tonight show actually took a bunch of 7 year-olds into a photo studio, they photographed them and digitally altered their image by ±10% and showed them to the kids.

Fiona Foster then asked each of them which image of themselves that they preferred. Every one bar one chose the image of themselves that had been reduced by 10%. Fiona also asked them which one would they not want to be and every one chose the image of themselves that had been enlarged by 10%. When asked why, they used the adjectives I used in the previous paragraph.

What’s possibly even worse, is that this will have a lasting impact on their development. Connections in their brains won’t be made and the more they starve themselves and I think the earlier they start doing it, the bigger the impact it will have on their capability in the future. As a side effect, it will also effect how tall they end up growing to be. After all, if they still growing and don’t have enough energy to have a growth spurt, the likelihood is that they won’t get one. Whilst growing up, weight shouldn’t be an issue, unless kids are excessively fat.

What I found depressing and shocking about the Tonight’s show was just how willing young girls were to severely damage their health. Of course from a behavioural economist stand-point its not that shocking. Jo Swinson’s Body Confidence campaign is a welcome start. We need to go after the media for presenting an idealistic vision of a perfect society and what a “perfect” body looks like.

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