New York City became the first major US city to tackle the issue of girls’ self-esteem and body image.1 Recognizing that girls at the ripe ages of six and seven years old struggle with body image and self-esteem was a remarkable breakthrough. This city launched a self-esteem initiative program that aids girls in acknowledging that their value is derived from character, skills, and attributes—and that awareness of appearance has little weight. This was a major development and great accomplishment for the city of New York.
• Over 80% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat.2
• By middle school, 40-70% of girls are dissatisfied with two or more body parts. Body satisfaction hits rock bottom between ages 12-15.3
• Girls’ self-esteem plummets at age 12 and doesn’t improve till age 20.4
• An estimated 24 million people (i.e., up to 8% of U.S. population) suffer from anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, all triggered by “garden-variety” dieting.5
• Up to 4.2% of women suffer from anorexia, up to 40% experience bulimia, and 2.8% of American adults struggle with binge eating disorder.6
• Obese children were 63% more likely to be bullied regardless of gender, race, family income, social skills, academic achievement, or school composition.7
• Girls with high self-esteem in seventh grade are three times more likely to keep their virginity than girls with low self-esteem.8
• The risk of teenage motherhood rises to 50% among (girl) teens with lower self-esteem.9
• Young girls who dieted had three times the odds of becoming overweight five years later compared with girls not using weight-control behaviors.10
• People who feel discriminated or stigmatized against because of weight were two-and-a-half times more likely to become obese, regardless of their regular weight.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish