Pushy parents ‘to blame for anorexia in sporty teenagers’

UK Telegraph 19 Nov 06
Parental criticism of sporting performances has left many teenagers suffering from eating disorders. The pressure from parents for their children to do well at sport is causing some to develop eating disorders, a psychologist has warned. Harsh parental criticism of sporting performances, combined with poor diet, has left growing numbers of teenagers suffering from anorexia and bulimia, it is claimed.Dr Sheelagh Rodgers, a psychological consultant to the English Institute of Sport, says that there has been a rise in the numbers affected over the past five years as the amount of money involved in sponsorship and competitions had grown. She said that parents were unaware of the damage they were doing. Her comments come days after a survey by Norwich Union Healthcare which revealed that two-thirds of doctors had reported an increase in self-harm and eating disorders among teenagers. Some GPs admitted prescribing antidepressants to children under pressure from parents.