Looking At The Problems Of Eating Disorders Media Essay

Eating upsets are serious psychological unwellnesss that result in people holding unsafe eating wonts. Peoples with eating upsets normally have a negative perceptual experience of their organic structure image and will try to command their weight through inordinate dieting, exerting or purging. In fact, eating upsets can non be separated from the civilization in which they arise. In western states where tenuity is emphasized as an of import societal value, 1000000s of adult females are enduring from eating upsets like anorexia, binge-eating syndrome and orgy feeding.

Harmonizing to National Eating Disorders Association ( 2005 ) , about 10 million females and 1 million males in the United States are enduring from anorexia and binge-eating syndrome while 25 million more are fighting with orgy eating upset. Other than psychological and familial factors, research shows that the media besides has a profound impact on eating upsets. The media has grown quickly over the old ages with the promotion in engineering and now it has the persuasive power that can pull strings the whole society by determining people ‘s attitudes and beliefs. This “ mind-bending ” power of the media has brought approximately many arguments from different establishments particularly on the issue refering the harmful effects of media exposure on eating upsets. Therefore, immediate actions need to be taken before this issue becomes more and more controversial.

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Even though the media has the power to determine people ‘s behaviours and attitudes, do you hold that the media encourages people to develop eating upsets?

Looking further into the issue, we will see that the media is so guilty of promoting eating upsets in the society. It portrays an unachievable criterion of organic structure image, gives leeway for pro-anorexia groups to distribute on Internet and promotes dieting and weight loss.

This study will demo compelling grounds on how media encourages people to develop eating upsets. They are many negative effects than positive 1. The research findings are confined to the United States of America and United Kingdom due to their high prevalence of eating upsets in comparing to other states.

2.0 Media Promotes “ Ideal Body Image ”

Body image refers to people ‘s perceptual experience and imaginativeness of their physical visual aspect. It is non congenital, but learned ( Ojeda, 2003, p. 8 ) . A survey conducted by Anne Becker in Fiji, where telecasting was introduced every bit tardily as the mid-1990s, found that 83 % of the people felt telecasting had influenced their perceptual experiences and ideas about organic structure image and size ( Friedman, 2007, p. 31 ) . Therefore, the function of the media in advancing an ideal organic structure image should non be taken lightly as it can do harmful effects on one ‘s self-image and self-pride.

2.1 Portrayal of Ultra-Thinness

“ Twenty old ages ago, the mean theoretical account weighed 8 per cent less than the mean adult female, but today ‘s theoretical accounts weigh 23 per cent lupus erythematosus ” ( Media Awareness Network, 2010 ) . As clip goes by, theoretical accounts and famous persons are going dilutant and dilutant to fit the unrealistic criterion of beauty. Research shows that unrealistic portraiture of adult females stereotype in the media can hold damaging consequence on one ‘s wellness. Harmonizing to Healthy Within ( n.d. ) , an mean American adult female is 5 pess 4 inches tall and weighs 140 lbs while an mean American theoretical account is 5 pess 11 inches tall and weighs 117 lbs. These super-thin theoretical accounts portrayed by telecasting and magazines make adult females experience unhappy and dissatisfied with their physical visual aspect. As a consequence, 1000000s of adult females who fail to make this criterion of beauty feel embarrassed and guilty and the desire to be thin thrusts them to develop eating upsets.

2.2 Incorrect message is conveyed to the Society

Television has ever been viewed as a beginning for amusement and information, but nowadays it begins to act upon people ‘s thought and attitudes by stressing tenuity as a manner to mensurate adult females ‘s worth. For illustration, heavier actresses frequently receive negative remarks about their organic structures and 80 % of these negative remarks are followed by transcribed audience laughter ( Media Awareness Network, 2010 ) .

Besides that, manner magazines, telecasting and films are invariably presenting the incorrect message that adult females must be thin in order to be loved, accepted and successful ( Schlundt & A ; Johnson, 1990, p. 59 ) . The portraiture of happy and successful adult females being highly thin has a immense impact on adult females ‘s perceptual experience of beauty. It has forced adult females to follow the mentality that “ thin is beautiful ” and “ beauty is success ” . When adult females begin to compare tenuity with beauty, they will endeavor difficult to go thin so that they are attractive plenty to be accepted in the society. Therefore, in order to accomplish the ideal organic structure image criterion, adult females violently manipulate their weight and visual aspect by dieting, purging and even self-starvation.

Family Influence

Surveies show that household influence is besides one of the factors that trigger eating upsets. Parents particularly female parents have important influence over adolescents ‘ organic structure image jobs. In this society where ‘thin is still in ‘ , most female parents would desire their kids to look beautiful and slender. Therefore, parents sometimes unwittingly promote their kids to lose weight even though most of them are non fleshy. Parents normally encourage their kids to diet with good purposes but adolescents may misconstrue their significance as being fat is non good and they should lose weight to go dilutant and more beautiful. Besides that, parents with weight jobs tend to be over-concerned about their kids ‘s weight and organic structure images. This may do adolescents to experience the force per unit area to be thin and start developing unhealthy eating wonts to command their weight. Since adolescents take their parents ‘ words earnestly, negative remarks on their weight and eating wonts may decrease their self-esteem ( Ojeda, 2003, pp. 21-25 ) .

In decision, media promotes “ ideal organic structure image ” that can do adult females to experience disgruntled with their organic structure size and form. The portraiture of ultra-thinness through telecasting commercials, manner magazines and films will present the incorrect message to the society. As a consequence, adult females develop unsafe eating forms to remain thin so that they can make the criterion of beauty portrayed by the media.

3.0 Power of Internet

Internet is a powerful agent of socialisation and it allows easy entree to different sorts of information. The on-line universe of “ pro-ED ” ( pro-eating upsets ) consists of 100s of web sites and treatment groups created by people who claimed that they have the upsets ( Healthy Topographic point, 2010 ) . Every clip we come across a pro-anorexia site, a warning mark will look on the gap page clearly stipulating that the contents of the site is pro-anorexic and should non be viewed by those who are in recovery or those who do non endure from an eating upset. However, many people ignore the warning and enter these sites due to wonder.

3.1 Impact of Pro-Anorexia Websites

Pro-ana web sites are on-line communities for people with anorexia nervosa ( Suite101, n.d. ) . These web sites have proliferated quickly due to the rise of Internet use in the last decennary. They promote anorexia as a lifestyle pick instead than a dangerous disease ( Friedman, 2007, p. 60 ) . Most of the contents in these sites glorify eating upsets and supply tips on how to lose weight more efficaciously. Therefore, those people without eating upsets but actively seeking for ways to lose weight and those with eating upsets seeking for advice to hide their upsets become the victims of pro-ana web sites. Besides that, these sites besides contain inspiring citations and poesy that encourage eating upsets. The impact of pro-ana web sites is so huge that there is no manner back after their first visit on these sites.

Most of the pro-ana web sites display “ thinspiration ” images of waif-thin theoretical accounts and celebrated famous persons with eating upsets like Mary-Kate Olsen and Karen Carpenter to acquire the attending of waxy immature adult females ( Healthy Topographic point, 2010 ) . After sing these pro-ana web sites, adolescents are more likely to be unhappy with their physical visual aspect and have a negative organic structure image. Survey shows that persons subjected to a individual screening of a pro-ana site are more likely to hold low self-prides and go bemused with exercising and weight loss, as compared to the control group ( Wikipedia, 2010 ) .

3.2 Online Social Networks

Nowadays, there are many societal web groups available on-line such as MySpace, Xanga and Facebook. These on-line societal webs have gained popularity among immature people in the recent old ages and finally go a tool to advance eating upsets among the members.

After linking with each other for old ages on unknown and secret web sites, pro-anorexia groups are now traveling to more public forums like Facebook to pull more people to fall in their groups ( Newsweek, 2008 ) . Many socially stray anorectics articulation and become members of these sites because that is the lone means of support available to them. Some said that the sites can assist them to battle the feelings of solitariness and isolation every bit good as to acquire attending from others ( Healthy Topographic point, 2010 ) . Furthermore, they can happen a circle of friends with the similar disease who understand and accept them as who they are. This makes them experience that they are non entirely and therefore motivated to transport on with their upsets. In short, pro-ana online networking web site is a topographic point for anorectics to set up friendly relationship, derive support and seek consolation by sharing their sorrows, joys and achievements with each other.

Social Pressure

Peoples in professions where there is a peculiar societal force per unit area to be thin such as jocks, theoretical accounts, terpsichoreans and histrions are more likely to develop eating upsets during the class of their calling. Surveies have showed that around 15 % to 25 % of jocks have eating upsets, particularly those involved in athleticss that emphasize on visual aspect such as figure skating, cheer leading and gymnastic exercises ( Schulherr, 2008, p. 244 ) . Besides that, famous persons and theoretical accounts besides suffer from eating upsets because they are placed under societal force per unit area to “ look perfect in forepart of the camera ” . In order to look ace skinny and sexy, they adopt inordinate dieting and even self-starvation that finally lead to harmful wellness effects. For illustration, Ana Caroline Reston, a lifting star in the mold industry died of anorexia in 2006. Due to societal force per unit area, she starved herself by merely lasting on fruit juices, apples and tomatoes for many old ages. Finally, when she achieved the coveted image of a supermodel, the fatal feeding upsets took her life at the age of 21.

In decision, the power of Internet in developing eating upsets among adolescents should non be underestimated. The slippy nature of the web makes the pro-ED universe about impossible to command ( Healthy Place, 2010 ) . Therefore, pro-ana web sites and societal webs should be monitored so that less people would be misled by the harmful information inside these sites.

4.0 Media Promotes Dieting

Dieting can be defined as the effort to lose weight by curtailing nutrient consumption. Excessive dieting behaviour may finally take to the development of eating upsets because terrible weight loss is the primary symptom of anorexia nervosa. The saloon chart below ( Figure 1 ) shows the different causes of eating upsets but most Americans believe that dieting and media are the chief factors that contribute to eating upsets. However, when both dieting and media comes together, the media will go a formidable force that can take 1000000s of people worldwide to the possibility of eating upsets.

4.1 Exposure to Magazines and Ads

Ads in magazines and telecasting are having highly thin theoretical accounts and famous persons to do adult females believe that they are fat. When adult females start to fear of deriving weight, they will purchase slimming merchandises that can assist them to lose weight. Since the criterion of beauty portrayed by the media is unachievable to most people, consumers will ne’er experience satisfied, and hence making an eternal demand for beauty and weight loss merchandises. Hence, it is certain that these industries are really gaining net income from promoting a dangerous disease in 1000000s of adult females ( Friedman, 2007, pp. 27-31 ) .

Furthermore, surveies besides show that adolescent misss who are frequent readers of manner magazines record higher prevalence of dieting and exerting behaviours to lose weight as compared to those infrequent readers ( Table 1 ) . Many people start to take up dieting because they are motivated by the images in the magazines. Dieting books are normally the best-seller because most people are attracted by the diet tips provided inside these books ( Schlundt & A ; Johnson, 1990, p. 59 ) . Therefore, it is apparent that the fright of being fat has dominated many immature adult females and adolescent misss and this finally leads them to prosecute in inordinate dieting and unhealthy feeding wonts.

4.2 Weight Loss Reality Shows

An increasing figure of weight loss world shows are looking on telecasting screens and all of them demonstrate the major consequences that can be achieved through dieting and exercise ( DietWords, 2010 ) . “ The Biggest Loser ” is one of NBC ‘s most-watched prime-time plans and it has attracted about 10 million viewing audiences each hebdomad ( The New York Times, 2009 ) . The plan ‘s mark is to obtain a weight loss of more than 15 lbs per hebdomad through terrible thermal limitation and many hours of strenuous exercising. However, wellness attention professionals disagree with such utmost modus operandi as it is non advisable to lose more than two lbs a hebdomad.

In short, these world shows have made viewing audiences to believe that rapid weight loss can be obtained through dieting. Consequently, they may seek to emulate the contestants by developing unhealthy eating behaviours to lose weight, which finally leads to long term fatal effects on their wellness.

Peer Pressure

Peer force per unit area refers to the influence exerted by a equal group in promoting a individual to alter his or her attitudes, values, or behaviour in order to conform to group norms ( Wikipedia, 2010 ) . This is common among adolescents because most of them pass more clip with their groups of friends instead than remaining at place. However, when adolescents encounter with negative equal force per unit area associating to their eating wonts, it is really unsafe because they may miss the adulthood to manage this sort of force per unit area. When adolescents are teased by their friends about their organic structure size and form, they will experience the impulse to command their weight by dieting, which may take to the development of eating upsets. Therefore, peer force per unit area is a factor that triggers dieting and eating upsets among immature people.

In decision, the media has brought about a dieting compulsion in the society. Hence, it is clear that frequent exposure to burden loss world shows, magazines and advertizements can lend to the development of eating upsets.

5.0 Decision

In drumhead, the media is the driving force behind the development of dangerous eating upsets in 1000000s of people worldwide. It reinforces the intense fright of weight addition among adult females by portraying images of super-thin theoretical accounts, encourages the development of feeding upsets through the spread outing on-line universe of “ pro-ED ” and promotes dieting through weight loss world shows and advertizements. All three statements mentioned are clear cut demoing that the media is guilty of advancing eating upsets in the society.

In clip to come, more people will be enduring from eating upsets because of the influence of the media. As the impacts of media influence can non be seen in the short tally, many people do non recognize that it can really take to serious wellness effects in the hereafter. By the clip they suffer from an eating upset, nil much can be done except to seek intervention and guidance for recovery. Prevention is better than remedy. Thus, before it is excessively late, we should happen ways to tackle media power for good alternatively of immorality.

“ When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can non ache you ” ( Quotes Daddy, 2010 ) . Therefore, love yourself more and bask life to accomplish felicity within yourself, merely so you will non be conquered by the fright of weight. Stay off from eating upsets and you will ne’er repent.

6.0 Recommendation

The undermentioned recommendations have been made to rectify the function of media in advancing eating upsets.

Avoid utilizing scraggy theoretical accounts in manner industry

Ban pro-ana web sites

Establish pro-recovery web sites and support groups

Introduce Torahs to enforce penalties or ticket on any agencies of mass communicating that promotes eating upsets

Research further the claim that authorities control over the media ( e.g. censoring ) can assist to cut down the harmful contents in advertizements and world Television shows

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