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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

New Doll Said To Promote Anorexia

The makers of a new doll which refuses to eat have been accused of encouraging anorexia.

When attempts are made to feed her, she shakes her head and keeps her mouth firmly shut a scenario familiar to new mothers who struggle to get babies to eat.

The feeding spoon contains a magnet that triggers an internal switch, closing the dolls mouth. But the mother can get her to eat by turning the spoon over and pressing it against her lips.

Eating disorder charities are calling for a doll - called 'Nenuco Won't Eat' - which turns its head away when offered food to be banned. They are worried it could normalise eating disorders
Eating disorder charities are calling for a doll - called 'Nenuco Won't Eat' - which turns its head away when offered food to be banned. They are worried it could normalise eating disorders

The Nenuco Wont Eat dolls Spanish makers say she is designed to help children understand the frustrations of normal life and how important it is to eat properly.

However, campaigners claim there is a more dangerous subliminal message that will encourage girls to refuse food. Chris Leaman, policy manager at YoungMinds, said: This doll sends the wrong message to children and encourages them to think that refusing food is normal behaviour.

We would not want children to be influenced by this, and are concerned that it promotes unhealthy attitudes towards food and body image.
The 'Nenuco Won't Eat' doll has a magnet in her spoon which means her head turns away when a child tries to feed her. Campaigners say the sale of the doll is 'deeply worrying'
The 'Nenuco Won't Eat' doll has a magnet in her spoon which means her head turns away when a child tries to feed her. Campaigners say the sale of the doll is 'deeply worrying'

A spokesperson for the eating disorder charity B-eat said: 'Research shows young children are becoming aware of body image at a much earlier age. A doll that refuses food is hardly a good example to them'
A spokesperson for the eating disorder charity B-eat said: 'Research shows young children are becoming aware of body image at a much earlier age. A doll that refuses food is hardly a good example to them'

The charity Beat, which campaigns on anorexia and bulimia, said: Research shows young children are becoming aware of body image at a much earlier age. A doll that refuses food is hardly a good example to them.


Siobhan Freegard, of the parenting site Netmums, said: Anything which encourages young children to think not eating is normal is deeply worrying.


And Anita Worcester, of eating disorder charity SWEDA, said: Promoting what is basically an anorexic doll seems unhealthy.


Nikki Jeffery, UK marketing director for Nenucos maker, Famosa, claimed the doll represents the real difficulties mothers face when feeding a baby.

The toy company, Famosa, says the toy just represents play in real life as babies often reject their food
The toy company, Famosa, says the toy just represents play in real life as babies often reject their food

She said: We know that children often dont eat what they are given, but the doll is designed to show them how important it is that they eat properly.


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.


The idea is that the child understands the doll is being mischievous and that the child encourages the doll to eat the food, just as a parent does with their child. She said the doll would teach children the value of eating healthily as its food included  fruit and vegetables.


The British Toy & Hobby Association has named the Nenuco doll among 37 new toys that it expects to sell well this year.