The Impact of Media on Health and Eating Disorders
At any given point in the day, The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness says that one
in three women will be on a diet and one in four men will be on a diet. The media is a big impact on
peoples desire to change their shape. Looking at beautiful people with seemingly perfect bodies almost
constantly can take a toll on someone's self esteem and view of themselves. The Rader Programs
Center for Eating Disorders’ website states that when asked to choose their ideal body shapes, 30% of
women chose one that is 20% underweight while 44% chose one that is 10% underweight. People
choose what they think is attractive over being in good health. The media distorts people's body images
to think that they need too lose weight and that the thinner someone is the more beautiful and accepted
they are, the media has a huge impact on peoples opinions on weight, body and physique.
What many people don’t realize or remember is that bodies shown in magazines and movies are
not real bodies. They models and movie stars spend hours in the hair and makeup chair and after they
finish shooting their editors spend more hours doctoring up their pictures so they can look exactly they
way they want them too. Also, models go on extreme diet and exercise regimens in order to keep their
career. In a book titled “The Vogue Factor” by Kirstie Clements the most shocking diet used by models
was eating tissues to stay full. According to them they swell up in ones stomach and keeps them full. And many resort to eating disorders or drug and alcohol abuse to keep their small figure.
Now someone reading this may be asking, “How does this affect people not in this industry?”
the Rader Program Eating Disorder Treatment Center also states that 73% of teenage girls who abuse
diet pills and 79% of teen girls who self-purge frequently read women’s fitness and health magazines.
Repeated reading of these magazines can cause girls to diet and exercise more dedicated than they
already do. And that 9/10 girls who are high school juniors and seniors diet while only 1/10 of high
school girls are overweight. 35% of "normal dieters" progress to frequent or pathological dieting. Of
those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders. Unnecessary dieting can lead to
deadly eating disorders. Many people recognize that eating disorders are a serious issue but they don’t
see just how serious they actually are. Statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics show that
"anorexia" or "anorexia nervosa" was the underlying cause of death noted on 101 death certificates in
1994. In the same year, bulimia was the underlying cause of death on two death certificates and
mentioned as one of several causes on 64 others. Eating disorders also cause multiple health problems
even after recovery and can leave the person that has/had the disorder with intense emotional scarring.
Who gave people the idea that its ok to let the way other people look on tv or in an advertisement take
over their life?
This kind of behavior isn’t normal, babies aren’t born with the desire to throw up
what they eat so they can be skinny. This kind of body image is accumulated by endless pressure
from society, family, friends or oneself to stay slim because that is what’s considered attractive
now. A study by Glamour magazine showed that women have an average of 13 negative thoughts
about their body each day, while 97% of women admit to having at least one “I hate my body”
moment everyday. This kind of distorted body image can lead up to severe emotional and self
esteem issues. Being thin is unnecessarily important to people nowadays. It used to be that people
wanted to gain weight and have a healthy physique, quite chunky by todays standards. But now
people are the polar opposite of...
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