The war against obesity is having unintended consequences:
Most girls thought that being slim would make them more popular, claimed the research in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. They would also have no hesitation in dieting if they gained weight. The study was conducted among five- to eight-year-olds in South Australia, but experts said last night that British children felt "paranoid" about their weight - partly because of the Government's anti-obesity message.
"We want people who are overweight to do something about it. We don't want to terrorise youngsters."
The UK Eating Disorders Association said it was known that children as young as eight had been diagnosed with eating disorders and there may have been instances in younger children.