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Friday, 4 February, 2000, 01:29 GMT
Eating disorders enter the classroom

canteen Pupils can be very vulnerable to eating disorders


Pupils in Liverpool are to be taught about the dangers of eating disorders as part of an initiative which has been praised by the government.

Liverpool City Council has teamed up with Liverpool Health Promotion Service to produce guidelines on how to introduce information on eating disorders into lessons.

It is encouraging schools to incorporate the issue into core curriculum subjects such as English, science, health education and food technology.


anorexic Many young girls die from anorexia nervosa

The advice pack, called Guidelines for Schools on Eating Disorders and Body Image, is thought to be the first of its kind produced in the country. It provides information on dieting issues, and profiles disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating.

It is now being issued to every school in Liverpool, and the Department for Education is adopting the initiative as a model of good practice for other local authorities and schools to follow.

Research has shown that four out of every 100 women under the age of 35 may have an eating disorder. Of young sufferers, more than 90% are female.

Annette Lyons, Liverpool City Council's Education and Lifelong Learning Service health advisor, said: "We are trying to help young people cope with issues about their own identities and bodies and prevent them from falling prey to eating disorders.

"We also want to give young people details of who can help if they do encounter problems."

Jim McTague, deputy headteacher of St John Almond RC High, in Liverpool, said: "Anything that promotes healthy eating and positive self-image among pupils should be supported by every school."

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See also:
13 Oct 99 |  Medical notes
Eating disorders factfile
24 Aug 99 |  Health
Models 'not to blame for eating disorders'
23 Dec 99 |  Health
When Christmas indulgence spells despair

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