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Word Count: 2,314
Americas children are afraid to eat It is a fear that consumes shatters lives even kills It is an obsession that takes away from their joy their curiosity their energy and their sense of normal life To be overweight is to fail It is irrational but children are succumbing to the same destructive cultural messages about body and weight that plague adults Instead of growing up with secure and healthy attitudes about their bodies eating and themselves many children fear food and fear being fat Children and teens today are struggling with a major health crisis that is dominating their lives in often determining ways They live in a culture that tells them that their bodies are wrong and promotes destructive values through media advertising and the entertainment industries Weight and eating have become an obsessive concern for American children of all ages The crisis consists of four major weight and eating problems They are dysfunctional eating eating disorders overweight and size prejudice Children are desperate to have the right bodies obsessed with the need to be thin and fearful that they will not be loved unless they reach near perfection There should be no surprise that children see hear and take to heart that cultural ideal that to be thin is to have the best of everything and to be fat is to fail Weight issues have become an obsessive concern for American children of all ages Clearly it is an national crisis when harmful attempts at dieting are common in the third grade and even earlier It is a crisis when more than two-thirds of high school girls are dieting and half are undernourished One in five take diet pills and many girls as well as boys are using laxatives diuretics fasting and vomiting in desperate attempts to slice their bodies as slim as they can There are big changes in the way children eat today changes in what they eat and
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