11-year-old girl nearly dies of anorexia after getting this letter in the mail

By Camille H, Parent Herald March 24, 11:34 am
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An 11-year-old girl nearly died of anorexia after her family received a warning from her school that she was at risk of being overweight.

Sophie Anderson, now 13, became anorexic and withdrew from her family as her weight fell to only 64 pounds. Struggling for her life, Anderson was force-fed through a tube in a hospital because she refused to eat on her own.

During an interview with ITV's Daybreak, Anderson spoke about her recovery and explained how she thinks it's inappropriate to weigh young children at school as part of the National Child Measurement Program.

She shared the incident, which took place when she was in sixth grade, when a letter from her school arrived, complete with graphs that said she was at risk of becoming overweight.

"It's ludicrous to weigh children at that age because before puberty you get a bit of puppy fat to prepare you for a growth spurt," she said.

Anderson said she thinks it's both misleading and potentially damaging for a child to hear about her future weight at the same time she is starting to become self-conscious about her appearance.

To make things worse, all the children at her school who received the letter compared notes and talked about it all the time, she said.

In her interview with ITV's Daybreak, Anderson explained: "I had been a completely happy child but from around this time I started becoming more self-conscious about my body. The letter was certainly part of it. I am also a perfectionist, which makes you more susceptible to anorexia."

Anderson and her mom Mary are calling for more efforts to help raise awareness of anorexia in children. "I think it's really important that schools talk about eating disorders," Anderson stressed.

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