Eating Disorders are one of the top ten causes of non-fatal disease in adolescent and adult women and are estimated to affect around one million Australians every year. Concerningly, a recent literature review by Butterfly Foundation found that rates of eating disorders had increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among adolescents. While many eating disorders begin in adolescence, there is currently no national data that represents the body image experiences of young people aged between 12-18 years.
The Body Kind Youth Survey will help to fill the gap in understanding the true nature of body image among young Australians and will provide relevant data as well as deeper insight into the body image experiences of youth aged 12-18 years. It will also allow young Australians to share their experiences of body image and voice their ideas on the kind of support Australia can provide to help encourage body positivity and kindness.
The Body Kind Youth Survey will create an ongoing annual dataset highlighting the current and changing prevalence of body image concerns and related issues for Australia's youth. The findings from the survey will help Butterfly Foundation to further develop its prevention programs and resources to better support both youth and their families. In the longer term, the data will help to inform key insights into youth body image for researchers, policymakers and education, youth, and mental health service providers.
Ultimately, Butterfly Foundation hopes that, with more accurate data, they can advocate for greater support for prevention and early intervention work and resourcing. This will help to address the increasing issues of body dissatisfaction, disordered eating and eating disorders in young Australians.