Now, I don't know much on the subject of Eating Disorders. I must stress that now, but I saw a photo of a young actor called Boo Boo Stewart yesterday (he's 15 or 16 years of age - and he has a six pack), which cause me to wonder about eating disorders and whether images like this are causing the increase of young men and woman to get eating disorders like Anorexia, Bulimia and Bigorexia.
Now, I was trying to find statistics within the UK about this subject and I got myself a little confused. According to Disordered Eating (links below), at least 1.1 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder and, what I found more worrying is what the Liberal Democrats found in 2006. It was reported that 58 children under the age of ten were treated in hospital for an eating disorder. 35 of those were boys.
Now that, to me, is a frightening amount.
So, what is causing teenagers to do this? Is it the media, ramming photos of muscle-bound actors and singers like Taylor Launter and Madonna (who would have the time and the money to afford people who would help them train safety and eat the right food, unlike us normal human) and then, in a blink of an eye, going from "Look How Hot They Are" to "Look How Not They Are". And maybe shows like Hollyoaks and Neighbours, where they do use good-looking actors should be aware that this might cause and set a good example.
But then, some people could (and are) argue that if a child grew up in a home where your Mum or Dad is always on a diet, going to gym or worrying about their weight, then maybe it would affect the child in later life?
Are we to blame with all this?
I'm not saying whose to blame but I do agree that something has to be done. Awareness must be raised. Hollyoaks (always brave in tackling hard hitting stories) wrote and portrayed a young woman - Hannah - suffering from anorexia and bulimia and weren't afraid to show the true horrors of what this disease can do (Hannah's friend, who had anorexia, suffered a heart attack and died because of it) whereas Neighbours showed a young man suffering from it.
But is that enough, one wonders? One wonders what we, ourselves, can do about this?
If you've been affected by the issue raised in this blog, here are some links that might be useful: