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A Waist Is A Terrible Thing To Mind Menu
Alarming Facts  

The average American woman is 5-4", weighs 140 pounds and wears a size 14 dress. The "ideal" woman portrayed by models, Miss America, Barbie dolls, and screen actresses is 5-7", weighs 100 pounds and wears a size 8.

1/3 of all Americans wear a size 16 or larger.

75% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance; 50% of American women are on a diet at any one time.

Between 90 and 95% of reducing diets fail to produce long-term weight loss.

A full 2/3 of dieters regain the weight within one year, virtually all regain it within five years.

The diet industry, which includes diet foods, diet programs and diet drugs, takes in over $40 billion each year and is still growing; quick weight-loss schemes are among the most common consumer frauds, and diet programs have the highest customer dissatisfaction of any service industry.

Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.

50% of 9-year-old girls and 80% of 10-years-old girls have dieted; 90% of junior and senior high school female students diet regularly, even though only between ten and fifteen percent are over the weight recommended by the standard weight charts.

1% of teenage girls and 5% of college-age women become anorexic or bulimic.

Most bulimics report that the onset of their disorder occurred while they were dieting.*

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate, up to 20 %, of any psychiatric diagnosis. Girls develop eating and self-image problems before drug or alcohol problems. There are drug and alcohol programs in almost every school but no eating disorder programs.

Excerpts from 1996 Council on Size and Weight Discrimination for Mount Mary, New York.

* Full Voice, published by The Body Shop

T.S. Eliot



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