Government grants £2m for 'size zero' fight

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The government has awarded a funding grant of nearly £2 million to research the best ways of treating anorexia.

Health minister Rosie Winterton announced the funding today, explaining that the Department of Health (DoH) hopes to improve the effectiveness of treatments currently available.

A range of psychological treatments will be tested by researchers from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, working in collaboration with the Institute of Psychiatry and eating disorder charity Beat.

"We all have a role to play in tackling a disease that has blighted the lives of too many young people," Ms Winterton said.

"The development of 'size zero' as something young girls aspire to is deeply worrying. Society, particularly the media, must do more promote a more positive body image for young people."

The government's efforts to tackle Britain's anorexia problem follows growing concern about the cultural pressures girls and young women feel to keep their bodies in keeping with unhealthily skinny role and fashion models.

Today's funding targeting anorexia nervosa forms part of the £480 million to be distributed in the next five years by the National Institute for Health Research.

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