Are young women dying to have the perfect body?
Each year millions of people in the United States are affected by serious and sometimes life-threatening eating disorders. The vast majority, more than 90 percent of those afflicted with eating disorders are adolescent girls and young women. Thousands of magazines, newspaper articles, TV shows, and movies bombard them with images of today’s most attractive models: Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum and Paris Hilton with their “perfect” skinny bodies. Their first thought is: “I have to lose weight.” Young women starve themselves to death to gain the perfect body and to follow their idols. Anorexia is one of the most dangerous types of eating disorders. The word is originally Greek and means “lack of appetite”. It is an emotional illness in which people refuse to eat. Although the majority may actually be extremely hungry, they avoid eating for a variety of reasons. Some anorexics experience bouts of bulimia; an overwhelming craving for food that is vomited after it is consumed. Teens may limit their nutrition to 200-400 calories a day, the equivalent of an apple and a cereal bar; which is extremely low, considering that an average teenager needs more than 2000 calories a day to stay healthy. This is followed by an extreme weight loss. Surprisingly many teens and young women are not aware of the potential to develop an eating disorder. Many think they have found a good way to lose weight secretly. But why do so many girls starve themselves painfully to death?
The media provides the answer: magazines abound with photos of the favorite top ten models, stories about losing weight, and articles about common body complaints other stories which influence young teens to care about their body weight. The media is primarily responsible for the prevalence of anorexia, and it continues to encourage its victims with their advertisements. “Nowadays advertisers have already turned their job into a game...
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