Expatica news

Anorexia strikes more and more kids

10 March 2005

BRUSSELS – Anorexia is becoming a worrying phenomenon among Belgian children, warned an expert on the problem on Thursday.
The website of private broadcaster RTL reported that an increasing number of adolescents were patients at food disorder clinics such as the AZ-VUB in Jette and the Koningin Paola hospital in Antwerp.

Johan Vanderlinden, the author of Anorexia nervosa overwinnen in 13 stappen – ‘Overcoming anorexia in 13 steps’ – said cases of children with anorexia as young as eight were no longer unusual.

He based his conclusions on a survey he carried out on clinics in Flanders.

“Food issues are a classic problem for teenagers,” said Vanderlinden.

“It’s alarming to see that anorexia is developing now even before puberty.”

“I also see a lot of young children suffering from food problems at my private practice,” said the psychologist, who works in Kortenberg in Flanders.

“It’s mainly girls, but from time to time it’s also boys, eight or nine years-old. The fact that many children associate being ‘slim’ with ‘beautiful’ at a younger and younger age may be due to their increasing exposure to images of very slim models on TV and on the internet.”

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news