What Is the Extent of the Media's Influence Regarding Eating Disorders?

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Abstract
The research question of this Psychology Extended Essay is “What is the Extent of the Media’s Influence Regarding Eating Disorders?” To further investigate this question, I researched what the media is and what it does, how people are affected by the media and many different studies and experiments. Through the use of several sources, mostly online and experiments, I was able to learn exactly what the media does to possibly be considered an influence on the development of eating disorders. I was able to find a multitude of experiments and studies deciding whether or not women are actually influenced by what the media has to say about body image. While typing this paper, I realized that, of course, the media was not the only contributing factor because not everyone was affected by what it says. By investigating each of the experiments and online resources, I was able to reach a conclusion. The conclusion for this essay is that “not every man and woman develops an eating disorder but the ones that do can be influenced by many different factors, not only the media.” I, also, found that peers, family and personal body dissatisfaction are all major contributing factors as well as the media. Word Count: 203

Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………….3

The Media Influences Eating Disorders, Fact or Fiction?............................5

Experiments and Studies…………………………………………………..7

A Personal Interview with an Eating Disorder Victim……………………10

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………13

Works Cited………………………………………………………………..14

Introduction
In this generation, television, reality television and magazines are one of the main focuses of many men and women in this country. All of these are examples of the media, which is this generations mean of communication. Since this generation is drastically immersed in the media, it influences practically every person in this country. The media mainly presents actors, actresses and models from all over. Models are usually extremely thin men and women; thinner than your average men and women. Since models are constantly discussed in the media about how beautiful they are and how everyone can only pray to look like them, eating disorders throughout many men and women have become an issue. There are an estimated 10 million females and 1 million males that are struggling in their own bodies due to an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia (The National Eating Disorder Association). What is their reason for having this eating disorder? What made them feel so uncomfortable in their body that made them develop these eating disorders?

The focus question of this extended essay will be:
What Is the Extent of the Media’s Influence Regarding Eating Disorders? There are two main types of eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa is “a psychiatric disorder characterized by an unrealistic fear of weight gain, self-starvation, and conspicuous distortion of body image” (Medical-Dictionary, The Free Dictionary). Bulimia Nervosa is a psychiatric disorder in which the person “consumes large amounts of food (binge) and then try to rid themselves of the food and calories (purge) by fasting, excessive exercise, vomiting, or using laxatives” (Medical-Dictionary, The Free Dictionary). Women are more likely to develop an eating disorder than men but men still do develop them. When someone gets an eating disorder it is hard not to blame the media for causing this person to become so uncomfortable with their body that they feel the need to lose weight in an unhealthy way because the media has made the ideal body image for women thinner and thinner since World War II (Teen Health and the Media). Ask any woman and she will tell you that the ideal body image in this generation is extremely thin. Although everyone is exposed to the media, not everyone develops an eating disorder. There has been an excessive amount of debates about...
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