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Media Impact on Eating Disorders

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The media plays a role in everyday life for many people. However, it seems that women are impacted more by media rather than men. For some, media are just a form of entertainment, for others it is a part of routine. Various effects can occur from the media, some positive as well as negative. With modern technology, it is difficult to have one day pass without being affected by the media. Although there are some positive effects of the media, there are many more negative ones. The media is most responsible for eating disorders and negative effects on body image in women through television, movies, and magazines.

Eating disorders involve serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening results for females as well as males. Up to 20 million teens develop eating disorders, abnormal attitudes and behaviors with foods. For most children, these disorders develop between the ages of 11 and 13 (Eating Disorders).

The most common disorders are anorexia, and bulimia. Anorexia is illustrated by starving oneself and losing great amounts of weight. Some symptoms of anorexia are being fearful of gaining weight or becoming fat, feeling overweight even when weight loss has occurred, loss of menstrual periods, and great apprehension about body weight and shape (What is). Another common eating disorder is bulimia which is explained as occasional binge eating followed by purging. This involves eating a massive amount of food, and then getting rid of the food through vomiting, laxative abuse, or excessive exercising. Various symptoms of this sickness are frequent dieting, purging after a binge, and also extreme concern with body weight and shape (What is).

There are also effects from eating disorders. For example one may experience dehydration, and can even affect the brain. There are symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, confusion, inability to concentrate, and loss of memory (Eating Disorders). Eating Disorders are very traumatic and detrimental to many suffering individuals.

Television has become one of the most popular and influential forms of media. For some people, watching television can positively affect them, for others television can have negative effects. An example of when television negatively affected individuals is pertaining to women in Fiji. Prior the availability of television in Fiji, women were considered to be more beautiful if they had gained weight. If a women were skinny it would indicate that she was having a social problem, or was not getting enough to eat. In 1995, the island of Fiji began to broadcast television. Although Fijians only had one channel, they were still greatly affected. With the innovation of television the number of Fijian teenagers at risk for eating disorders more than doubled (Goodman 589). In fact, 74 percent of Fiji teens stated that they felt "too big or fat" at certain times (Goodman 589). Television was an obvious detriment to the women of the Fijian society, and many teenagers have been negatively affected by the media.

Movies are also another form of media in which greatly influences women. Research shows that overweight men are portrayed



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