There is evidence that the average woman is becoming heavier. Girls are starting their periods younger as they accumulate sufficient body fat at an earlier age.
In the UK, it is estimated that up to 20% of "normal" women binge-eat once a month, 90% have been on a diet and 10% have used vomiting and laxatives as a method of slimming at some time or other. Chaotic eating is so common that it may seem you are almost abnormal not to be worried about weight. Studies find that an increasing number of young girls are obsessed with their weight and body image. According to a 1992 report, one in three nine-year old British girls are concerned about slimming and wish to be 15% below their ideal weight, although 40% of those concerned were well below this. Abnormal weight loss, although unhealthy for men and women of any age, is particularly harmful during adolescence when rates of physical development are supposed to be at their highest.