Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dane County Girls on The Run -- In the News

I love that this made my local news! If you're in the Madison, WI area, please join me on November 14 for another GOTR race, the Innaugural 5K run in Waunakee.

Video: Groups Help Teenagers Feel Better About Their Bodies
Groups Help Teenagers Feel Better About Their Bodies
Experts Give Advice To Parents

It's not easy for young people these days to feel comfortable with their own body image, some experts say.
Airbrushed images in the media set impossible standards for many young people to meet.
"Society puts an incredible amount of pressure on girls to act a certain way and to conform to a certain standard for beauty and what's OK," said Sara Pickard, executive director of Girls On The Run, a local program that helps pre-teen girls feel good about themselves both physically and emotionally.
Pickard said there are some things that parents can do to help their children during this impressionable age.
"The main mission of girls on the run is to help educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self respect and healthy living," she said. "We target girls in (the) third, fourth and fifth grades because it's at that critical age where we can really make the most impact."
About 20 years ago, the average age of a girl who started dieting was 14. Today, it's 8 years old, WISC-TV reported.
A recent study by Seventeen magazine found young girls are more afraid of getting fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer or losing their parents.
However, girls exposed to physical activity have higher levels of self esteem, experts said.
"They really do learn that it's as important and more important actually to celebrate and really understand what our bodies can do instead of focusing on what our bodies look like," Pickard said.
Girls who are dissatisfied with their bodies often turn to cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeon Dr. Clifford King said he spends a lot of time counseling teenagers considering such procedures.
“You don't want to have someone have surgery because somebody said something to them," he said. "I think it's important that that person feels themselves that they want to have the surgery and not because someone said to them, 'Your nose is large.'"
Nationally, the number of such cosmetic surgery procedures is on the rise, but surgery isn't always the answer.
"I think if they're overall just unhappy with themselves, addressing one area of their appearance is not going to make a real big difference on the other end of the surgery," King said.
King said parents of girls and boys need to be very careful about criticizing their own bodies. Even subtle comments about feeling fat or looking fat in certain clothes can be more destructive than you think.
Girls On The Run is hosting a 5K run in Dane County on Nov. 14. The event, in Waunakee, is open to the public.
Copyright 2009 by Channel 3000.