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School body image lessons needed, MPs say

30/05/2012 Joanna
Schools should be teaching pupils about their bodies in a bid to combat rising negative self-image and low self-esteem, according to a group of MPs.

Their recommendation follows the publication of an inquiry into body image by an All Party Parliamentary Group, which discovered that girls aged as young as five are beginning to worry about their appearance.

The 80-page report claims that the UK's dissatisfaction with our bodies has never been higher than it is today and blames the media for creating a culture of unattainable expectations about the way people should look.

It found that around half of girls and one-third of boys have been on a diet in a bid to lose weight.

Ofsted places a duty on those in teaching jobs to promote wellbeing to their pupils, and the report says that including specific lessons on body image should be considered as part of this mandate.

"Body image should be an integral part of PSHE education and made explicit in helping children and young people maintain physical, mental and emotional health," commented Nick Boddington of the PSHE Association.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801375046-ADNFCR
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