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Family

'Anorexia' doll provokes outrage

A new doll that refuses to eat has provoked outrage among parents who claim it encourages anorexia.

A new doll that refuses to eat has provoked outrage among parents who claim it encourages anorexia.
The toy – named Nenuco Won't Eat – resists all attempts to be fed, closing her mouth, shaking her head and keeping her mouth firmly shut.
The spoon the doll comes with contains a magnet that triggers an internal switch, causing the doll to refuse food.
The product's Spanish makers claim the doll is designed to help children understand the "frustrations of normal life", claiming a fussy baby who won't eat is a common problem faced by mothers the world over.
"We know that children often don't eat what they are given, but the doll is designed to show them how important it is that they eat properly," a spokeswoman for the doll's maker Famosa told the Daily Mail.
"It is about enabling young girls to have the closest experience possible to being a 'real mum'. We are not encouraging children not to eat."
But critics say the doll is actually sending a darker message – that refusing food is desirable, and something to be encouraged.
"This doll sends the wrong message to children and encourages them to think that refusing food is normal behaviour," Chris Leaman, spokesman for leading British children's mental health charity YoungMinds said.
"We would not want children to be influenced by this, and are concerned that it promotes unhealthy attitudes towards food and body image."
"Promoting what is basically an anorexic doll seems unhealthy," Anita Worcester from eating disorder charity SWEDA added, while Netmums spokeswoman Siobhan Freegard said: "Anything which encourages young children to think not eating is normal is deeply worrying."

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