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Library to hold eating disorders workshops next week

— The Cazenovia Public Library will offer two workshops on the timely and critical issue of eating disorders. Both will be presented by Erieville resident Meg Tobin, who holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and has worked in a variety of clinical and school settings with adults, adolescents and children.

The first — “Don’t Buy the Lies: Body Confidence for Teens” — will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, for girls and boys in grades eight through 12. This workshop will show children that being critical thinkers about the images and messages thrown at them daily can help reduce insecurity, body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.

Students will discuss media and cultural pressures that lead to negative body image and explore new ways of thinking about beauty, and they will leave with empowering strategies for combating these messages in their own lives plus ideas to help make change in their community.

The second workshop — “I had No Idea: Eating Disorder Information for Parents” — will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. During the panel discussion, parents will learn how to make a difference for their children.

With studies showing that children as young as six years old are exhibiting fears about their looks and their size, it is clear that our culture is facing an epidemic of body hatred. This hatred often leads to a life-long struggle with negative body image, including life threatening eating disorders.

The startling statistics:

—Close to 69 percent of girls age 6 to12 fear getting fat.

—51 percent of girls age 9 and 10 feel better if they are on a diet.

—80 percent of 10-year-old children are afraid of being fat.

—Not only girls fall prey to illusive body expectation; more than 40 percent of middle and high school boys regularly exercise in order to increase muscle mass and lose fat.

Both of these workshops will be held in the library community room, are free and open to the public.

For more information on these or other events at the Cazenovia Public Library, call 655-9322 or visit cazenoviapubliclibrary.org.

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