Extreme Eating Trends and the Rise of Eating Disorders in China (BBC Documentary)

Extreme Eating Trends and the Rise of Eating Disorders in China (BBC Documentary)

(BBC) – The Food Chain investigates the rise of eating disorders in China. Is this an inevitable consequence of economic development? And if so, why are eating disorders still all too often seen as a rich white woman’s problem?

Manya Koetse scours trends on Chinese internet sites and social media for her website ‘What’s on Weibo’. She tells Emily Thomas about the recent craze for live binge-eating among young Chinese women and how some of this is disturbingly followed by ‘purging’. Why do they call themselves ‘rabbits’? And why does no one use the term ‘eating disorder’ when talking about these trends?

In the first of two episodes to explore the rising prevalence of eating disorders outside of the western world, Emily Thomas speaks to women with the illness in China and Hong Kong, who explain how hard it is to access support for binge-eating disorder, bulimia and anorexia, because of attitudes to food and weight, taboos around mental health, and a lack of treatment options. They describe the pressure on women to be ‘small’ and ‘diminutive’, but still take part in the country’s deeply entrenched eating culture.

This is an online radio documentary.

To listen to a short fragment on China’s binge-eating rabbits by Manya Koetse, click here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/p06mw03b .

To listen to the full documentary, please click here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/p06mw03b.

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