Too Young to Diet
Flipping through the TV channels recently, I came upon an episode of My Super Sweet Sixteen on MTV. I watched just long enough to see a stick figure of a teen throw a tantrum about how fat she looked. I was appalled, but I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. According to the Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders (ANRED) organization, about one out of every 100 women between the ages of 10 and 20 are starving themselves to look thin, and about 4 percent of college-aged women have bulimia. In 2005, 12.3 percent of high school students reported they had gone without eating for 24 hours or more to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight during the last 30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In her book Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body, journalist Courtney E. Martin explores eating disorders through first-person accounts. The book is a 2007 nominee for the Books for a Better Life Award. On Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon, Martin will speak at Commonwealth Parenting (4121 Cox Road, Suite 110) as part of its distinguished speakers’ series.
Martin has written for Newsweek, the New York Times and the Village Voice. She’s also been featured in Seventeen, Glamour and Family Circle and has appeared on the NBC’s Today show, MSNBC, and Fox News. Martin is currently an adjunct professor of women’s studies at New York’s Hunter College and is collaborating with Emmy-winning, HIV/AIDS activist Marvelyn S. Brown on a memoir of her life, set for release later this year.
Registration is required: Tickets are $30 per person; the first 100 students to register will attend for free. For more information, call 545-1272 or visit Commonwealth Parenting.