Friday, June 8, 2012

Board rejects anorexia study request

The Brandon School Board has rejected a request from a University of Manitoba professor to conduct a study on anorexia nervosa and bulimia within the division.
Dr. Pierre Leichner, of the university's medicine faculty, had requested students in the division to complete the survey.Trustee and Curriculum Committee chairman Mildred Murray said the, survey's questions were of  a personal nature and she was wary of how the children would react. Students from grades seven through to 12 were being asked to participate.
"We were concerned of the possible affects the questions would have on the students," she said. "It wasn't really a factual survey. Rather it asked for an emotional response from the children."
Dr. Leichner expressed disappointment but would not look to appeal the board's final decision. He agreed that the survey's questions were of an emotional nature but
defended them by pointing out that causes for anorexia nervosa and bulimia may stem from a child's emotional background.
Basically, anorexia nervosa and bulimia are eating disorders. A victim is so overcome with the notion of losing weight that he literally starves himself. It usually affects teenagers.
"There have been studies done on it in industrial European cities," Dr. Leichner said. "But there doesn't seem to be any data available here.
"It only makes sense the survey contain questions relating to one's emotional background since that is the problem's source," he said.
Anorexia nervosa may also be attributed to the low carbohydrate diets currently out on the market. "My feelings are that a great number of susceptible young people get hooked on these things and find it difficult to turn back," Dr. Leichner said.
The doctor will continue his research and try to find enough of a cross section of students interested in taking the survey.

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