When Kids Feel 'Fat' | Andrea Wachter

September 1, 2014 11:32 PM

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As a family counselor, I enjoy working with many different issues, but it seemed only natural that I would specialize in the area that I most suffered. And since my first drugs of choice were cookies and ice cream, I see a lot of people who struggle with food and weight. Over the last few decades, I have mostly seen teenagers and adults, with a small sprinkling of really young children. But in the last year or so I have noticed a tragic new trend. It seems to me that as our social media has become more widespread, my clients have been getting younger and younger. Brace yourself here, folks -- I actually have tiny 6-year-old clients who feel "fat!" I see 7-year-old kids who agonize over what to wear in the morning because they "hate the size of their thighs or their arms." And I work with children who refuse to eat carbs or fats. Who among us even knew what carbs or fats were when we were 6 years old? I think it's safe to say that our epidemic of eating disorders is spreading to our children.

We are doing something seriously wrong here when 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds hate their bodies. I think this is something we can probably all agree on, yes? I mean, it's pretty much accepted that teens struggle with body image. Though why is that supposed to be normal? There are cultures that raise c...

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