Earlier this week, “Big Love” actress Ginnifer Goodwin admitted to reporters that she started dieting before she began dating, having started on Weight Watchers when she was nine years old. “I really did go through a period when I was very little when I remember realizing that vegetables did not come out of the ground deep-fried,” said Goodwin in an interview with Health. “I changed my eating habits in fourth grade because I was a heavy little girl, and I was unhappy. And I remember my mom making dinner for me the first night that I was on this new program, and I burst out crying because the vegetables were green, and I thought she was trying to starve me to death.”
Sadly, Goodwin isn’t the only girl to start dieting at an early age. The National Eating Disorders Foundation reports that 46% of nine to eleven-year-old children are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets, and 81% of 10-year-old kids are afraid of being fat.
But shouldn’t nine-year-olds be worrying about things other than weight (grades; friends; sports; pretty much anything else)? Not surprisingly, of the girls who reported being on diets, around 82% of their family members reported “often” or “almost always” dieting, proving that young girls who grow up in families where dieting is the status quo pick up their parents’ negative body issues.
What do you think? When is it okay for kids to start worrying about weight loss?