Preventing Negative Body Image and Eating Disorders. We live in a society that is extremely pre-occupied by body image where we are bombarded everyday about how we should look, how we should dress, how we should act.
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We live in a society that is extremely pre-occupied by body image where we are bombarded everyday about how we should look, how we should dress, how we should act.
We hope that if we understand more about how to resist some of these pressures, we can feel better about our bodies and can all work together to promote a healthier social environment that can decrease at least some of the risk factors that can lead to problems like eating disorders.
Facts and Figures
75% of American women are dissatisfied with their weight.
So are 41% of American men.
What are Eating Disorders?
Major Characteristics of Bulimia Nervosa
The chances of recovery increase the earlier Bulimia is detected. Therefore it is important to be aware of some of the warning signs--you could be in the position to really help someone!
Major characteristics might include:
BINGE EATING DISORDER
Research is still being done on binge-eating
disorder, but doctors estimate that about
25% of obese individuals suffer from frequent episodes of binge eating. More and more research shows that a chemical imbalance in the eating centers of the brain may be responsible. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT an issue of will power.
People suffering from binge-eating disorder can be either average or above average weight.
Binge-eaters often express distress, shame, and guilt over their eating disorder. Many have a history of depression.
What Causes Eating Disorders?
Some factors might include:
Male Body Image
are not just problems
These irrational judgments are a form of prejudice and discrimination, just as racism and bigotry are. The prejudice against fat and toward thinness is called weightism and is an unfair and sad aspect of our culture.
One thing we can learn to do is fight the messages sent to us by the media industry…
…Media messages like advertising and celebrity spotlights more and more are defining what is beautiful and what is “good.” If we buy into their unrealistic ideals, we give the media great power over our self-esteem and body image.
A study of 4,294 network television commercials revealed that 1 out of every 3.8 commercials send some sort of “attractiveness” message, telling viewers what is or is not attractive. These researchers estimate that the average adolescent sees over 5,260 “attractiveness” messages per year. Often the goal of these messages is to make you viewers feel inadequate so that they will buy products to “fix” their “problems.”
TIPS FOR BECOMING CRITICAL
VIEWERS OF THE MEDIA
Advertisers create their message based on what they think you will want to see and what they think will affect you and compel you to buy this product. Just because they think their approach will work with people like you doesn’t mean it has to work with you as an individual.
PREVENTING EATING DISORDERS
A ROLE FOR ALL OF US
LEARNING TO UNDERSTAND HOW WE ALL CAN PLAY A ROLE IN PROMOTING AN ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS RESPECTFUL AND WHICH PRMOTES RESISTANCE AGAINST SOCIAL PRESSURES TO BE THIN
A job for everyone…
What to Do:
WHAT TO DO: STEP BY STEP
2. Focus on emotions, stress, isolation…not on appearance and weight. They already worry too much about both.
4. Avoid lecturing about the medical dangers of eating disorders. It will likely backfire.
Speak to the person in private
Free Community Eating Disorders Support Group
Teachers, Counselors, School Nurse
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”