Body Image, Media, and Eating Disorders
- 10k Downloads
Eating disorders, including obesity, are a major public health problem today. Throughout history, body image has been determined by various factors, including politics and media. Exposure to mass media (television, movies, magazines, Internet) is correlated with obesity and negative body image which may lead to disordered eating. The authors attempt to explain the historical context of the problem and explore potential avenues for change.
The authors review changes in ideal female body type throughout history, comment on current attitudes toward shape and weight in both men and women and outline interventions aimed at increasing healthy habits and fostering self-esteem in youth.
Throughout history, the ideal of beauty has been difficult to achieve and has been shaped by social context. Current mass media is ubiquitous and powerful, leading to increased body dissatisfaction among both men and women.
Parents need to limit children’s exposure to media, promote healthy eating and moderate physical activity and encourage participation in activities that increase mastery and self-esteem. Funding for high-quality, visible advertising campaigns promoting healthy life styles may increase awareness.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.American Obesity Association (AOA) Obesity in the U.S.; Overall Prevalence. Accessed on January 30, 2006. Available at http://www.obesity.org/
- 6.Thesander M: The Feminine Ideal. London, Reaktion Books, 1997Google Scholar
- 7.Fallon P: Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders. New York, Guilford Press, 1994Google Scholar
- 8.Anderson BS, Zinsser JP. A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 1999Google Scholar
- 9.Brumberg JJ: The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls. New York, Random House, 1997Google Scholar
- 11.Wallace A: Jamie Lee Curtis: true thighs. More 2002Google Scholar
- 12.Kilbourne J: Deadly persuasion: Why Women Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. New York: Free Press, 1999Google Scholar
- 13.Pipher M: Hunger Pains: The Modern Woman’s Tragic Quest for Thinness. New York, Ballantine Books, 1995Google Scholar
- 16.Fleming-Morn M, Thiagarajah K: Behavioral interventions and the role of television in the growing epidemic of adolescent obesity—data from the 2001 youth risk behavioral survey. Methods Inf Med 2005; 44: 303–309Google Scholar
- 18.Hill AJ, Draper E, Stack J: A weight on children’s minds: body shape dissatisfaction at 9 years old. Int J Obes 1994; 18: 383–389Google Scholar
- 19.Tyre P: Fighting anorexia: no one to blame. Newsweek, 2005Google Scholar
- 21.Caralat DJ, Camargo CA, Herzog DB: Eating disorders in males: a report on 135 patients. Am J Psychiatry 1997; 154: 1127–1132Google Scholar
- 25.Pope HG Jr, Phillips KA, Olivarda R: The Adonis Complex. New York, Free Press, 2000Google Scholar
- 28.Riess H, Dockray-Miller M: Integrative Group Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa. New York, Columbia University Press, 2002Google Scholar