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My son wants to diet... and he is only six
TAYLER Gunn is constantly worried about his weight. He’s cut out cheese, ham and spaghetti from his diet for fear of putting on the pounds. His body mass index is a subject that often comes up often when chatting to his friends and family.
This would be a fairly unremarkable story, except that Tayler’s six.
And it seems he’s not alone. MPs have made recommendations that all schoolchildren receive compulsory body image and self-esteem classes. It followed a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, which said more than half of the public had a negative body image and girls as young as five now worried about how they looked.
Tayler’s mum Leanne Kane, 25, of Devonshire Gardens, Laindon, says: “It is something he worries about. It’s ridiculous, I just keep telling him he’s strong, he’s not fat.”
The parliamentary group report also said cosmetic surgery rates had increased by nearly 20 per cent since 2008 and blame media images of super skinny celebrities.
As part of the same recommendation, there was a call for a review into the Equality Act, suggesting it be amended to include appearance-related discrimination being classed the same as race and sexual discrimination.
Leanne welcomed anything that could be done to help children, but said Government involvement was one of the reasons Tayler was so self-conscious about his weight.
In October, she was given a letter from Tayler’s school saying he was bordering on being clinically obese. When he was given the letter, Tayler was five, 3 stone 5lbs and 3ft 6ins tall. Since then he has grown two inches, but lost one pound in weight.
Leanne adds: “It definitely affected him, and he is really worried about his weight.
“I was so angry because I was given a letter basically saying that I’m not looking after him properly, but I do. He thinks he is too fat and he’s six. It’s just awful.”