In August of 2010 American Viewpoint, a public opinion research company, conducted a telephone survey of American adults for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). This survey polled a nationwide sample of one thousand adults in the United States and found that eighty-six percent of participants favored schools providing information about eating disorders to students and parents. Other relevant statistics that emphasize the need for education include:
* 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).
* 46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets, and 82% of their families are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets (Gustafson-Larson & Terry, 1992).
* Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).
* By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. This concern endures through life (Smolak, 2011).
The need for education on eating disorders should be included in a parent and student assembly as the child enters middle school. This information is most valuable to parents at this time since statistically children are high risk for developing an eating disorder. inform and enhance your current knowledge on the issue of eating disorders as well as why the school’s staff felt it was important for you to be given this information now. Since early identification is associated with a significantly better prognosis for recovery it is important to recognize any cues or sense of when something is wrong. The school staff is able to observe students regularly in multiple social situations that parents are not always able to observe. According to The Center For Mental Health Services 90 percent of those...