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
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .