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Safeguarding Bulletin

You may have seen an article in the local press recently regarding concerns around a new trend taking over TikTok which is targeting vulnerable young men. The “looksmaxxing” phenomenon – to maximise one’s looks – is aimed at young men and boys who want to change their appearance to become more attractive and gain social acceptance.

"Starvmaxxing" of "looksmaxxing" are terms used in certain online communities, particularly those focused on self-improvement, fitness, and appearance. It refers to a practice where individuals severely restrict their calorie intake or intentionally starve themselves in an attempt to achieve extreme weight loss or a very lean physique. The term is derived from combining "starve" with "maxxing," which is a slang term derived from "maximizing." However, it's essential to note that extreme calorie restriction or starvation can have serious negative consequences on physical and mental health and is generally not recommended.

Starvmaxxing, or extreme calorie restriction/starvation, can pose significant dangers to both physical and mental health:

Nutritional Deficiencies: Severely restricting calorie intake can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, resulting in weakness, fatigue, and compromised immune function.

Muscle Loss: In addition to losing fat, the body may also break down muscle tissue for energy during prolonged starvation, leading to muscle wasting and weakness.

Slowed Metabolism: Extended periods of starvation can cause the body to slow down its metabolic rate as a survival mechanism, making it harder to lose weight in the long term and easier to regain weight once normal eating resumes.

Organ Damage: Starvation can harm vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, increasing the risk of organ failure and other serious health complications.

Bone Health: Inadequate nutrition can weaken bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Hormonal Imbalance: Extreme calorie restriction can disrupt hormone levels, leading to irregular menstrual cycles in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and other hormonal imbalances.

Mental Health Issues: Starvation can have profound effects on mental well-being, including increased anxiety, depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

Eating Disorders: Starvmaxxing can contribute to the development of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder, which can have serious long-term consequences and require professional treatment to overcome.

Overall, while some individuals may pursue extreme calorie restriction in pursuit of aesthetic goals, the risks associated with starvmaxxing far outweigh any potential benefits. It's essential to prioritise health and well-being by adopting balanced and sustainable approaches to weight management and fitness.

If someone is struggling with disordered eating patterns or body image issues, it's crucial to seek support from qualified healthcare professionals

Thanks and as always get in contact with us via email:

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