Girls as young as five worry about how they look – time for action says Jo Swinson

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AN MP has called for action to be taken after a report revealed that girls as young as five worry about their size and appearance.

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson says she was shocked by the results of an inquiry published by an all party parliamentary group on ‘body image’.

Ms Swinson is chairperson of the group and is co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence.

The report also revealed that by the age of 14, 50 per cent of girls and 30 per cent of boys have been on a diet to change their body shape.

And according to the findings body image problems and appearance are one of the main causes of bullying in schools.

MP Jo Swinson said: “The report is really shocking.

“I have been campaigning on the issue for around four years now and I’m still surprised when parents tell you the type of comments young people come out with, such as saying they look fat.

“Body image dissatisfaction in the UK has reached an all time high, and the pressure to conform to an unattainable body ideal is wreaking havoc on the self-esteem of many people.

“Our inquiry took evidence from academics, the public, industry, charities and other experts, whose submissions formed the basis for the recommendations in the report.”

The report was co-authored by a cross party group of MPs and health and education charity, Central YMCA.

Jo Swinson will write to the Scottish and Westminster governments to urge them to take action on a number of recommendations.

Central YMCA is launching a UK-wide campaign to highlight the problem.

The campaign will include the creation of a brand, or ‘kite mark’, which will be awarded to socially responsible businesses taking action to tackle negative body image.

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