Hardly a cookery class of mine goes by without finding out that one of the ladies in attendance is there because her teenage daughter has just become a vegetarian.
From my discussions with these mothers around the dinner table, it seems some girls certainly do become vegetarian for very whimsical or superficial reasons. Of course it is nice that they do stop eating meat, but if they do so without the proper formula for health and menu-planning, it will fail for sure.
In fact, many of my female students frankly admit that they were vegetarians sometime in their youth, but they now eat meat. They did it maybe for the right reasons, maybe for the wrong, but either way they could not keep it up.
In Australia, female vegetarians outnumber males; many more young girls turn to vegetarianism than young boys. The reasons are varied. Not least of these is the issue of body-image, and the perception that vegetarianism will lead to weight loss, a less-than-favourable reason to eschew meat.
I am not sure about the exact statistics here in Australia; close to 5 percent of young women in the United States suffer from eating disorders like anorexia, an obsession with being thin to the point that you starve yourself and exercise excessively, and bulimia, binging on large amounts of food and then purging them from the system.
Though the reasons are complex, the media has a lot to answer for in the upsurge in anorexia nervosa; thousands of young girls are being allured by so many artificial body-image fantasies.
Read this recent news article from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Whilst the article’s title and leading paragraph may be a bit sensational, I think it is pretty fair. It does confirm some of my thoughts on the matter, and does seek to shed light on the seriousness of this illness which is a major problem amongst young Australian girls.
And what about the ponies? Read the article..
Posted by Kurma on 25/8/07; 5:50:42 AM