The Media's Influence on Eating Disorders

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The Media's Influence on Eating Disorders

The National Eating Disorders Association states that eating disorders are conditions that arise from factors including physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social issues. Media images help define cultural definitions of beauty and attractiveness and are often acknowledged as one of the factors that contribute to the rise of eating disorders (NEDA). The National Eating Disorders Associations website, "The Effect of the Media on Body Satisfaction in Adolescent Girls", "The Media's Influence on Body Image Disturbance and Eating Disorders", and "Dieting Behaviors, Weight Perceptions, and Life Satisfaction Among Public High School Adolescents" are all articles that evaluate how the media may cause adolescent girls to develop eating disorders. In order to understand how the media?s portrayal of body image has an influence on adolescent girls developing eating disorders one must understand the attitudes young girls have about their body images, the emphasis on female thinness depicted in magazines and on television, and the way young women are influenced by the media.

Body dissatisfaction has become the norm for female adolescents in America (Valois et al. 271). Body dissatisfaction is a result of the difference between the ideal self versus the perceived self (Champion and Furnham 214). Thompson and Heinberg found that girls who watch 8 hours or more of TV in a week will have greater body image dissatisfaction than girls who watch less than 8 hours of TV per week (342). This shows how girls who are exposed to television will develop negative feelings towards their body?s image. Negative feelings towards body image can often lead one to try various ways to lose weight. ...

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...the media, it could reduce body dissatisfaction, and as a result it would decrease potential eating disorders (?NEDA?).

Works Cited

Champion, Helen, and Adrian Furnham. ?The Effect of the Media on Body Satisfaction in

Adolescent Girls.? European Eating Disorders Review 7.3 (1999): 213-228.

National Eating Disorders Association. 2002. 5 Apr. 2005 <http://

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/p.asp?WebPage_ID=337>.

Thompson, Kevin J., and Leslie J. Heinberg. ?The Media?s Influence on Body Image

Disturbance and Eating Disorders: We?ve Reviled Them, Now Can We Rehabilitate

Them?? Journal of Social Issues 55.2 (1999): 339-353.

Valois, Robert F., Keith J. Zullig, E. Scott Huebner, and J. Wanzer Drane. ?Dieting Behaviors, Weight Perceptions, and Life Satisfaction Among Public High School Adolescents.? Eating Disorders 11.4 (2003): 271-288.
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