Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 11/07/2013. Tags: Parenting Kids Health
Irish girls who go to school with boys may be more self-conscious of their body shape, it has been suggested.
Speaking at the International Congress of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Lucena Clinic in Dublin Dr Fiona McNicholas explained teenage females who attend mixed schools are more likely to be dissatisfied with their body shape than those who go to single-sex schools, the Irish Independent reports.
It was also put forward that girls who study alongside boys at post-primary level are at greater risk of damaging their bodies by striving to be increasingly thin.
Dr McNicholas' comments come after an Eating Problems in Children and Adolescents study looked at eating disorders
in young people, with more than 3,000 individuals aged 12 to 19 involved in the investigation.
According to the research, almost one-third (32 per cent) of girls often dieted, with 29.4 per cent claiming they were unhappy with how their body looked. In addition, a lower quality of life was reported by those females who claimed to be on a diet at all times.
These findings come despite the fact that most children in all schools across Ireland believe they are enjoying a good quality of life and feel happy and popular when in the classroom and playground.
Dr McNicholas explained young females who diet constantly do not think of themselves as academically able and popular to the same level as those who never feel the need to try and lose weight.
"Irish girls were also more likely to have symptoms of bulimia, the eating disorder which involves throwing up food to try to keep body weight down," she added.
It was suggested that one of the reasons for school girls placing so much emphasis on their body shape is down to the influence of the media, with Dr McNicholas stating: "More than a quarter of adolescents felt that the media portrayal of shape and weight was far too thin."
Written by Donal Walsh