Eating Disorders

How The Media Influences Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are fast becoming a common issue in modern days. Many young people are not shielded from the impact of the media. Thus, it really is crucial that you should be aware on how to prevent eating disorders.

The media has a major influence on the development of eating disorders. It helps to set unrealistic expectations on what body image is considered beautiful. By being constantly exposed, the mental development of you or your child gets distorted. Unintentionally, some families use the television as a babysitter. This is dangerous as children can be quite impressionable. Hence, you will need to prevent eating disorders from an early age.

Thin models are often used by the media. It has been found that the body weight of an average female model used is about 25% less than her ideal weight. However, the model often achieves her looks unnaturally. Most of these models have either undergone plastic surgery or are anorexic and having an eating disorder themselves. Not forgetting, the photos that appear on print media such as magazines are often airbrushed to hide or take away any perceived flaws. In this manner, a beauty standard is set that realistically, is hardly attainable.

Your rate of exposure to images is at least 400 to 600 times per day. These figures represent the average number of advertisements that you view on a per day basis. So one way to prevent eating disorders is to cut down your exposure to these ads. Also note that one out of eleven of these advertisements is actually for a beauty product.

While in school, your child may be subjected to peer pressure. Young children can be mean unintentionally and often tease each other about their appearance. If your child has a low self esteem, he or she may be likely to yield to these pressures by starving or through developing bulimia.

Studies show that because one out of seven college-aged females has a problem with bulimia, and one out of a hundred has a problem with anorexia. These sufferers need psychotherapy as the causes are often deeply rooted on a psychological level. If no treatment is sought, eating disorders can escalate out of control. One out of every ten people who suffer from an eating disorder eventually dies because of the damage to the body that the eating disorder causes.

Preventing eating disorder is clearly an issue that everyone will need to do more for. The media needs to play a more responsible role on the images shown to our impressionable younger generations. In the meantime, it is not right that all you do is to point an accusing finger at the media. There is much that you can do if you do not want our future generations to hurt their bodies through eating disorders. More preventative measures will have to be in place.

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