Quarter of children under 10 say they feel overweight

A quarter of children under ten consider themselves overweight according to a survey commissioned for the programme 'Dying to be Thin - Tonight' which airs tonight on ITV1.

The survey of 1,500 people aged between 7-18 also revealed:
28% had been bullied over their weight
26% had missed a meal in order to lose weigh
40% of under tens worry about their weight

Lucie Russell Director of Campaigns, Policy and Participation, YoungMinds said:
“It is vital that these statistics are not dismissed and we act on our responsibilities as adults to help children feel better about themselves. Children today are growing up in a harsh environment with constant pressure to keep up with the latest consumer trends and look and act in a certain way. We must look as a society at what pressure we put young people under.

“Children feeling insecure about their bodies need to be are helped to feel positive about who they are and what they look like. At an early stage it can start with not feeling positive about your self-image and crash diets but this can soon turn into much more complex eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia which can scar for life

“Much more needs to be done both at school and at home to offer children positive role models of all shapes and sizes. We need to help children to feel good about their own body image and should become an important part of their school and home life.”

'Dying to be thin: Tonight' will be aired tonight (5th January 2012) at 7.30pm on ITV1. The poll was carried out by online polling companies Onepoll and Youngpoll.

020 7089 5066 or chris.leaman@youngminds.org.uk

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