Obesity: The New Face Of The Forgotten Young Women


NEW YORK (ASRN.ORG)- While young women with anorexia have received considerable attention in recent years, overweight and obese girls has been virtually ignored. This is despite the fact that obesity poses equally serious health risks.

For girls recent studies show that obesity begins at an early age:

 • Among 16 to 24-year-olds, twice as many young women as young men are seriously obese;
• Obesity has a direct link with social exclusion;
• By the age of 15, only 36% of girls are involved in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, compared to 71% of boys;
• Girls between the ages of 4-18 had diets that were high in saturated fats, sugar and salt;
• Over 40% of girls dropped out of physical education and sports by the age of 13;
• Almost 50% of young women between the ages of 16-24 were on diets;
• 25% of 5-year old girls were found to be dieting, even though they didn't have any weight problems;
• A girls mothers’ attitude towards food influences their daughters eating habits at a young age;
• Mothers with compulsive eating habits were likely to pass them onto their daughters;
•There is a heightened anxiety today about child abduction, which has resulted in parents discouraging girls, in particular, from playing outdoors or to walking to school on their own.   
Boys are considered at less risk.  Twice as many boys as girls either walk to and from school or play outdoors after school;
• Between 1986 and 1996, the percentage of under 17- year-olds walking to school fell from 59% to 49%, while the number of car rides to school nearly doubled;
• For girls and young women, the number of physical activities outside of home has significantly dropped out of concern for their safety;
• Sports facilities outside school did no better.  Over 55% young women found clubs and gyms intimidating, alienating and expensive.

The psychological effects of heavy or obesity for young women:

• Young women who "felt" overweight were more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy than young men;
• Girls between the ages of 12-17 were not permitted to socialize with overweight or obese girls their own ages.  These girls are generally perceived by their peers to be passive, unattractive, unhealthy, weak-willed and inferior. More than 60% of these overweight or obese girls experienced tremendous stress, which later led to eating disorders, smoking, addictions and other more serious problems.


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

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