KIDS' EATING DISORDERS DOUBLE; Fear of Obesity Could Trigger Epidemic
Byline: By NEIL COTTER
THE number of Irish children with eating disorders has doubled in the past two years, it was revealed yesterday.
Some children are even swallowing ecstasy tablets in a desperate bid to shift the pounds.
The evidence suggests eating disorders are no longer confined to stars such as Princess Diana, Victoria Bechkam and Geri Halliwell.
Now experts are warning the country is in the grip of an anorexia and bulimia crisis.
Kielty Oberlin, a psychologist at the Marino Therapy Centre in Dublin, said: "The constant focus on obesity is triggering a rise in the numbers of young children with eating disorders.
"Children as young as three are told that fat is the enemy so they have a chronic fear of putting on weight."
Experts are blaming "tweenie" eating disorders on diet-obsessed parents, a rise in schoolyard bullying and pressure to look like stick-thin models.
Marino, the country's leading treatment centre, claimed hysteria over rising levels of obesity is driving the anorexia and bulimia nervosa epidemic.
It now treats more than 200 people every week - most of whom are under 16 and some as young as eight years old. And the number of boys suffering from eating distress is now equal to girls - with many contemplating suicide to end the pain. …