Mental Floss

News flash: young people are obsessed with their appearance

Ransom Riggs

We're not sure we needed the BBC news to tell us this, but according to a recent survey, kids today are hung up on their looks. They asked 25,000 women aged 17 to 34 how they felt about their bodies, and the results are a little shocking (even to we hardened cynics): 51 percent of female respondents said they would consider undergoing plastic surgery to change their appearance. The same number said they had skipped a meal to lose weight (which, since this forces your body into starvation-alert carbo-conservation mode, is actually counter-productive), and about 10% said they "hated" what they looked like.

That number rises significantly when the survey expands to include women over 40, 70% of whom said they had been on a "serious" diet within the past year. The average woman over 40, the survey revealed, would like to weigh less than she did at 20. In a chilling vision of things to come, experts are now warning that eating disorders can strike people of any age, not just the younger set.