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“Likes and shares” are defining children

Experts are reporting that pre-teen children are now presenting with eating disorders.

Parenting expert Claire Orange said nearly 30 years ago it was almost unheard of to have children with eating disorders and mental health issues.

“Now it’s common,” said Ms Orange.

“In fact 11 [years old] is much older than our national average for when they present.

“It’s about seven-years-old for clinical anxiety. For children coming through with eating disorders… you’re looking at an age of about eight to nine-and-a-half.”

Ms Orange said that girls who are on social media before the age of twelve are more than twice as likely to develop an eating disorder.

“What kids are getting off social media is horrendous and a real driver for these problems.”

However, she adds that attitudes about eating start at home.

“We’ve got to talk about healthy eating. We’ve got to talk about eating in moderation. There’s no good foods and bad foods, there’s just bad ways to eat them.”

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Mark Gibson