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The tragedy of excessive diet

Posted November. 11, 2015 09:01,   


Korean pop female singer IU sustains herself every day by eating one apple, two sweet potatoes and one glass of protein beverage along with a work out. Popular idol group singer and actress Su-ji eats one sweet potato, small bits of chicken breasts and one glass of milk for one meal. Korean celebrities’ weight loss diet menus are all over the Internet, and many have but to wonder whether they can endure the day with just those food. Not only celebrities go on excessive dieting to remain skinny.

According to OECD’s 2015 health report released recently, the overweight ratio of Korean children and teenagers (those aged 5 to 17) stands at 14.1 percent for female and 26.4 percent for male. There is small male-female gap in other countries, but in Korea the gap is 1.9 times, the highest among OECD countries. This shows that girls are more pressured about weight control than boys. An online survey conducted last year also shows that one in every two girl students has experience of having been on a diet. The obsession on looks, or an emotional pressure that women should be slim and pretty, is a serious problem.

What is worrisome is that many girl students consider themselves fat despite that they are in the normal weight range. An increasing number of lower grade students are starting diet also. An excessive diet in a growing period results in serious health problems later on such as osteoporosis and anemia as well as depression. The problem is that despite such acknowledgement the diet fever is not fading. Adults are to blame, who, through media, are encouraging young people to long for body shapes of idol stars or models.

In Europe, governments have recognized diet that result in eating disorders including anorexia as a serious problem and are pressuring the fashion businesses. Body mass index, or BMI, is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. In France, a law has been passed by which a party that puts on stage a fashion model with a BMI of 18 (175 in height and 56 kilograms in weight) is subject to six months of sentence in prison. In Italy, models can come on stage only after they submit a health certificate. In Korea, measures are also needed to do away with the tragedy that reckless diet would bring about.