New Delhi: Children as young as 12 are using diet pills, fat burners and are resorting to fasting and self-induced vomiting in a bid to stay fit and look good, reveals a recent study conducted among youngsters in Indian cities.
The survey, conducted by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) interacted with around 2,500 youngsters aged between 12-25 years in 10 major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.
"Kids as young as 12 years are resorting to severe dieting, consuming fat burners and protein shakes, thereby developing serious eating disorders, especially females, as they suffer from eating disorder and psychological problems like distorted body image, insecurity and low self-esteem owing to fear of rejection," said the study.
While Mumbai topped the chart with around 55 percent of the youth admitting to dieting three days a week and 35 percent dieting daily, Delhi youth were second with 40 percent dieting thrice a week and 30 percent dieting daily, revealed the study.
"Youngsters in urban India feel the need to diet as they aspire to be thin and beautiful as cine stars, models, celebrities and feel that they will be popular if they are able to attain that `ideal body image`," observed ASSOCHAM Secretary General D.S. Rawat.
"Parents tend to overlook the strange eating habits of their kids without realizing that this is robbing them off their childhood," added Rawat.
According to the survey, majority of respondents who admitted to dieting severely were ignorant of the harms.
Besides, the study also revealed that some of those obsessed with dieting become anorexic and are prone to diseases like depression, anxiety, insomnia.
The respondents admitted they felt worthless on being overweight, that`s the reason they starve themselves to attain a lean look.
Majority of them said they exercised compulsively, often to the point of exhaustion to compensate for the calorie intake, said the survey.