'Belly button challenge' concerns medical professionals - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

'Belly button challenge' concerns medical professionals

 (NBC) Challenges on social media have become a trend in recent years -- some good, others not so much.

One current one that's causing some concern in the medical community is the "belly button challenge".

It has gone viral on the Chinese version of Twitter and is making its way to the United States.

"The premise is if you can reach behind your back and reach your belly button that you are healthy or fit," said Heather Gallivan, the clinical director of the Melrose Center.

It has Gallivan very concerned.

"Healthy bodies come in every shape and size and being able to reach around your body and touch your belly button is really a function of arm length and your shoulder flexibility than an indicator of health," said Gallivan.

She is alerting parents because kids know what's happening on social media more than parents do.

This kind of social media pressure, she says, can lead to eating disorders.

“Unfortunately these challenges really kind of perpetuate a lot of body shaming and only one size is OK when in fact that is not true," said Gallivan.

Parent should talk to their kids about the "belly button challenge" and tell them it is not an indicator of health.

"We're more than what our body is and really focusing on the things our body allows us to do, regardless of shape or size," said Gallivan.

There have been injuries reported among people trying the challenge.

One Chinese newspaper reported a young woman, weighing about 100 pounds and standing 5 feet 1, dislocated her shoulder after several days of trying to complete the challenge.

Courtesy: NBC News Channel

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