Cosmetic surgery should be preceded by mental health checks

People who wish to have certain types of cosmetic surgery should face rigorous mental health checks before the procedures are carried out.

According to Reflections on Body Image, co-authored by MPs and health and education charity Central YMCA, the British obsession with the perfect body is threatening to fuel an eating disorder crisis and an increase in psychiatric illnesses.

The study found that girls as young as five are now worrying about their body shape, before concluding: "There is an urgent need to develop a psychological screening tool and follow up measure to gather data on the psychological characteristics and suitability of prospective patients who want to have cosmetic surgery."

All Party Parliamentary Group chairwoman Jo Swinson added that body image dissatisfaction has now reached an all-time high and there is great pressure to conform to an unattainable ideal.

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 43,069 cosmetic surgery procedures were carried out last year - a 5.8 per cent increase from 2010.

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