Entries in unhealthy (2)


'Thigh Gap' New and Unhealthy Obsession for Teen Girls

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new body trend is apparently becoming an obsession among teenage girls.

It’s the thigh gap, a clear space, or gap, that can be seen between the thighs when a girl is standing with her knees together. Some runway models have it, and teen girls want it.

ABC's Good Morning America sat down with four high school juniors from a New Jersey Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions to discuss this latest trend.

The four girls told ABC News’ Juju Chang that they all had friends that were intent on achieving the thigh gap. Emily Rozansky told Chang that, for many teens, the thigh gap symbolized “the ideal body shape.”

Social media sites such as Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter have devotees who flood the zone with images of thigh gaps, bony collarbones and confidence-crushing messages disguised as “inspiration” for staying thin.

Some of the most popular pictures showcase very thin girls with protruding hip bones and a thigh gap.

The teens told Chang that the sites make them feel they have to conform.

Angela DePalma, 16, said, ”I see those pictures on Tumblr and stuff and I think that wow, like, they look so good. And then I realize how unhealthy that is.”

Tumblr says it discourages blogs that actively promote or glorify self-harm.

According to teen psychologist Barbara Greenberg, statistics show that 80 percent of girls dislike their bodies by the time they are 17 years old. That, combined with a tendency to overshare, makes teen girls vulnerable to even the most subtle messages.

A quick online search brings up page after page of thigh gap inspiration photos and supporters. Experts say the images alone can lead to self-destructive behavior, especially since the thigh gap is, for most girls, an unrealistic standard of beauty.

Greenberg said teens who were pursuing a thigh gap were “setting themselves up for not only an unattainable goal but for an unsustainable goal.

“Even if they reach it, it’s going to be very hard for them to maintain it,” she said.

Surprisingly, some girls’ motivation to have a thigh gap isn’t to make themselves more desirable to boys. The New Jersey students told Chang that some boys don’t even notice it.

It’s strictly a girl thing, affecting popularity and status, they said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


New York Councilman Wants Toys Banned from Unhealthy Happy Meals

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- An overweight New York politician is on a crusade to eliminate toys from fast food meals that he says promotes unhealthy eating habits in children.

"If we can get the fast food industry to lead in this healthy quest by doing happy meals that have a nutritional value we would definitely change the tide of childhood obesity," New York City Council Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie told ABC News.

"It would be a tremendous help to parents and families if they could have a healthy option with the toy, because the kids want the toy," said Comrie. "The kids scream up and down for the toy."

Comrie, who has been reported to have tipped the scale at 350 pounds, admits that his own health issues had a role in the proposal's development.

"I've always struggled with food and my weight," said Comrie.

"Eating unhealthy food becomes engrained in children's minds because they're getting used to having a toy with a cheeseburger or their chicken nuggets," said Comrie. "Why not put the toy with a salad?"

Under Comrie's proposal, fast food meals that come with a toy could not exceed 500 calories or 600 milligrams of sodium. Meals offering toys would also have to contain either a half cup of fruit or vegetables or one whole serving of a whole-grain product.

Violators would be charged $200 for their first offense and as much as $2,500 for repeat violations.

While Comrie does not name McDonald's in his complaint, the restaurant chain is well-known for their trade marked Happy Meals that are marketed toward children.

McDonald's did not respond to a request for a comment on Comrie's proposal.

Andrew Rigie, the vice president of the New York State Restaurant Association, challenged Comrie's plan.

In an email statement to ABC News Rigie said, "We need to find more effective ways to combat obesity than by taking toys away from children and choices away from their parents."

"The New York State Restaurant Association looks forward to working with the City Council and other groups in a meaningful way to help educate children and parents about nutrition and healthy lifestyles," said Rigie.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio