The diet and beauty industries rake in billions of pounds every year and a significant proportion of this comes from female customers who are on a never-ending quest to make themselves look and feel better.
For some, new mascara, trips to the hairdresser and splurging on the latest and greatest anti-ageing moisturiser is nothing more than a bit of fun. For others however, fat-burning, toning, tightening, slimming, perfecting and concealing products have become a sad part of everyday life as women fight a constant battle with themselves to achieve the idealised imaged of perfection that the media so frequently portrays.
It’s well-documented that women end up struggling with body issues for most of their lives but the shocking statistics highlight just how serious this problem is. By the time British girls reach the age of 11, at least one in three want to lose weight and this rises to two-thirds by the time they’re 15. What’s even more worrying is that according to the British Journal of Psychology, half of 3-6 year-old girls in the UK report feeling concerned about being fat.
By the age of 7, 70% of girls in the UK want to be thinner. By the age of 9, half have been on a diet and for girls aged between 11 and 17, it’s their number one wish in life.
On average, women aspire to be 19 pounds lighter than they are and incredibly, they worry about the size and shape of their body every 15 minutes. Furthermore, they have also become experts at criticising every part of their body.
- 87% hate their thighs
- 79% are unhappy with their waist
- 59% are unhappy with their face
- 57% don’t like their teeth
- 56% say their hair is too thin
- 63% think their arms are too chunky and 64% think the same of their legs
- 51% say they have a muffin top
- 65% of women are even unhappy with their feet and 59% are disappointed with their hands/fingers
Taking this into consideration, it comes as no surprise that 9 out of 10 British women are currently on a diet, 41% are constantly on a diet and 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.
Cosmetic surgery is also rapidly on the rise and women account for 90% of all procedures. The British Medical Journal reports a tenfold increase in weight loss surgery in the last decade with most patients being female.
If you think that you or someone you know could have an eating disorder, please visit our Eating Disorder Treatment page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us to talk about treatment and get help.