We are back in Pakistan to create further awareness of Eating Disorders. Our first Stop primary school, our province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It’s important for schools to be involved in educating their people on Eating Disorders and to work towards promoting positive body image.
Children as young as seven are being hospitalized with eating disorders. We shouldn’t forget Eating Disorder is a mental illness and affect all. Early education and prevention is necessary.
According to Danni Miller 2011,“Children spend much of their early lives at school, an environment that can be competitive, with hierarchies often based on physical appearances. A negative fixation on weight and size potentially lends itself to self-destructive thoughts and behaviours, which can be triggered by situations, comments or events that bring up feelings of anxiety and worthlessness. These include family arguments related to eating (e.g. “You’re not leaving the table until you’ve eaten everything on your plate”), feelings of being misunderstood, rejection by peers (e.g. “Go away, we don’t want to play with you”) or feeling like a misfit.
Negative emotions can lead to unhealthy thought processes and feelings of insecurity around body image. If left undetected, these feelings can lead to the onset of an eating disorder.”
Importance of Minimizing Social Pressures
A number of strategies can be developed to minimize the impact of social pressures, especially pressures on women, to be thin. For example, we can teach our children not to be pre-occupied with their weight. This means learning to accept a broad range of body sizes. It also means placing less emphasis on appearance and more on personality and individuality.
Because adolescent girls are at a high risk for developing eating problems, schools should provide an ideal location for prevention programs. Teachers and school counsellors should become educated about the causes and perpetuating factors of eating disorders, especially those who are in contact with high-risk groups. Teachers should also educate students about accepting a wide range of weights and the dangers of dieting. These themes can easily be incorporated into health, science, or physical education classes. Junior high or high school students can be engaged in discussions about social pressures on women to be thin, pressure to achieve, as well as prejudice against fat. Teachers can ask students to collect media examples or write about their personal experiences. (Nedic.ca)
We delivered a brief interactive workshop on Eating Disorders, Healthy/Mindful Eating and Body Image. The response was brilliant and we thank each and every person who made our work in Pakhtunawa Easy.