Anorexia has become one of the most common new mental health problems affecting teenage girls with one in ten girls thought to be suffering from the disorder which is also being seen in increasing number of boys.
Researchers at University College, London have found that the number of anorexia cases have jumped by 13 percent during the period between 2003 and 2009 with the highest increase found among girls between 15 and 19 years of age. The researchers added that girls between 10 and 19 years of age are now nine times more likely to be diagnosed with eating disorders than type 1 diabetes. The disorder is also becoming common among boys with the highest rates found in the 10 to 14 years age group.
"Modern society exerts pressure for children and young people to be perfect, to look perfect and be high achievers. Boys are starting to suffer as girls did in the past. It's a mix of genes and environment, nature and nurture, but the reality is we don't know enough about what causes eating disorders yet", lead researcher Dr Nadia Micali said.