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Facts & Figures

Forty-two percent of first, second and third grade girls want to lose weight. Collins, M. "Body figure perception and preferences among preadolescent children." International Journal of Eating Disorders 10 (1991), pp 199-208.

Forty-five percent of boys and girls in grades three through six want to be thinner. Thirty-seven percent have already dieted; seven percent score in the eating disorder range on a test of children's eating habits. Maloney, MJ, McGuire, J. Daniels, Sr., and Specker, B. "Dieting behavior and eating attitudes in children," Pediatrics 84 (1989) pp 482-487.

Forty-six percent of nine- to eleven-year-olds said they were sometimes or very often on diets. Gustafson-Larson, A. M., and Terry, R. D., "Weight-related behaviors and concerns of fourth grade children." Journal of the American Dietetic Assoc. 92 (7)(1992), pp 818-822.

During puberty, most girls' bodies need to gain, on average, ten inches and forty to fifty pounds, including more body fat. Friedman, Sandra Susan. When Girls Feel Fat: Helping Girls Through Adolescence. Firefly Books, 2000.

Females need seventeen percent body fat in order to menstruate for the first time and twenty-two percent to have regular cycles. Cooke, Kaz. Real Gorgeous: The Truth About Body and Beauty. Norton, 1996.

Seventy percent of normal weight girls in high school feel fat and are on a diet. Ferron, C. "Body Image in adolescence in cross-cultural research" Adolescence 32 (1997), pp. 735-745.

Over half of the females studied between ages eighteen and twenty-five would prefer to be run over by a truck than to be fat, and two-thirds would choose to be mean or stupid rather than fat. Gaesser, Glenn A., PhD. Big Fat Lies: The truth about your weight and your health. Gurze Books, 2001.

A survey of college students found that they would prefer to marry an embezzler, drug user, shoplifter, or blind person than someone who is fat. Gaesser, Glenn A., PhD. Big Fat Lies: The truth about your weight and your health. Gurze Books, 2001.

Up to thirty-five percent of normal dieters will progress to pathological dieting and, of those, twenty to twenty-five percent will progress to partial or full-blown eating disorders. Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., and Estes, L.S., "The spectrum of eating disturbances," Intl Journal of Eating Disorders 18 (3) (1995) pp. 209-219.

The death rate for eating disorders is five to twenty percent. American Psychiatric Association, "Practice Guidelines for Eating Disorders." American Journal of Psychiatry, 150(2) (1993) pp. 212-228.

Americans spend fifty billion dollars annually on diet products. Garner, David W., PhD, and Wooley, Susan C., PhD. "Confronting the Failure of Behavioral and Dietary Treatments for Obesity," Clinical Psychological Review 11 (1991), pp. 729-780.

Fifty billion dollars is more than the GNP (Gross National Product) of more than half of all the nations in the world, including the entire country of Ireland.