Monday, March 11, 2013

8 Year Anorexic's Mom Cites The Biggest Loser as Potential Contributor to Daughter's Illness

In 2008 The Cutting Edge did a documentary on Dana, an 8 year old anorexic and recently a friend on Facebook sent it my way.

In it they cover the rising rate of eating disorders among ever younger children where according to the show in Britain between just 2006 and 2008 the number of children under 10 admitted to hospitals with eating disorders rose by 50%.

Dana did well in treatment and was discharged home and in the wrap up interview her mother pondered the genesis of her daughter's struggles,
"I always feel it was just a few things that clicked together like a jigsaw.  One, she started watching this program called America's Biggest Losers, it's a weight loss challenge. I did see her watching it. I just didn't really consider it dangerous. I didn't you know, she's never been a kid that had even mentioned dieting. It just clicked into place. If you don't eat, you lose weight and watching this weight loss challenge program about how they're all trying to give up food, it was just a combination of things that happened together".
The documentary is frightening. The residential eating disorder treatment home's director had this to say on their increasing number of under 10 year old patients,
"I worry very much that we're so many younger and younger children. They are being robbed of their childhood these days. Children as young as 5 and 6 are sitting in the playground discussing the shape of their bodies, talking about the fat that they've got and the fat bits that they would rather not have. You can't underestimate how serious it is."
If you'd like to watch the documentary, click here or watch below, and please, don't let your children watch The Biggest Loser and better yet, don't watch it yourself: