Anorexia and bulimia are becoming more common among affluent young women, say health authorities in Korea and Japan.
Retired epidemiologist Hiroyuki Suematsu says that one in 100 Japanese women have an eating disorder. While Korea and Japan have been hit the hardest by self-starvation, affluent women in the Philippines, India and Pakistan are also becoming victims.
"Appearance and figure has become very important in the minds of young people. Thin is in, fat is out. This is interesting, because Asians are usually thinner and smaller-framed than Caucasians, but their aim now is to become even thinner," said Dr. Ken Ung of Singapore.
Pills, teas and creams for weight loss have become a huge industry in Asian countries. Advertisements feature skinny models who say things like "My face is too fat!" and popular t-shirts read "I've got to get into that dress. It's easy. Don't eat." Fashionable clothes come only in size 4, said Park Sung Hye, a fashion editor at a young women's style magazine in Korea. "They make just one size so skinny girls will wear it and it will look good. They think, 'We don't want fatty girls wearing our clothes because it will look bad and our image will go down.' If you're a little bit fatty girl, you cannot buy clothes. All of society pushes women to be thin. America and Korea and Japan all emphasize dieting."
A study in Korea in 1995 showed that 21% of adult women were underweight. A survey the year before showed that 90% of normal-weight schoolgirls thought they were overweight. Dr. Kim Cho Il in Korea says "The 'be slim' trend starts earlier now, even in elementary school. They shun overweight boys and girls -- especially girls -- as their friends." She predicts an increase in osteoporosis when this generation of females reach menopause. She added that, besides bone loss, dieting "will also result in weaker physiques and lessened resistance against disease."
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times - October 18, 1997
7/29/2014 Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US - The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM.
According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.
Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. . . .
7/29/2014 Women Just Won Big In Mississippi - Feminist Majority Foundation leaders are elated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider) law that would have closed the only abortion clinic in the state. . . .