A recently published study in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal reports an alarming trend of children as young as 10 turning to internet chat rooms to learn weight loss or purging methods that can exacerbate anorexia and bulimia. Rebecka Peebles, who authored the study, is urging parents to gain greater awareness about how such unmonitored, interactive sites could affect the health of their teens and pre-teens. The report also addresses how the medical profession’s emphasis on treating obesity in children and adolescents may have placed an unhealthy emphasis on weight loss and dieting. The report documents an increase in cases of anorexia and bulimia among pre-teens, males and minorities during the past decade. Although a full report is not available online, the AAP has posted a policy statement about Identifying and Treating Eating Disorders at http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;111/1/204.
Anyone touched by or concerned with eating disorder issues should also be aware of the valuable resources provided by the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation (IAEDP). Check out their website: http://www.iaedp.com/