Depiction of eating disorders in the media

Abstract Introduction This paper provides a review of the role of the media in the development, maintenance, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders.

Depiction of eating disorders in the media

The reality is that eating disorders do not discriminate.

7 Ways The Media's Depiction Of Eating Disorders Failed Me As A Woman Of Color - Role Reboot

Individuals of any race, class, sex, age, sexual orientation can suffer from an eating disorder. Eating disorder is a term for a number of eating problems including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Eating disorder is not a sign that a person has a problem with food.

7 Ways the Media's Depiction of Eating Disorders Failed Me As a Woman of Color By Raquel Reichard | Feb. 25, When I was in elementary school, I started dieting. But despite the media’s obsession with it, anorexia isn’t the only eating disorder. In fact, it’s not even the most common. That would be the aforementioned OSFED, which can also present itself with an intense fear of gaining weight and does not require a preoccupation with thinness. Recovery from an eating disorder can take months, even years. Slips, backslides, and relapse tend to be the rule, rather than the exception. Re-learning normal eating habits and coping skills can take a long period of time and often requires lots of support from professionals, friends, and family.

Eating disorder is more of an indicator of underlying problems in that person's life. Research of the past two decades on eating disorders has shown that the vast majority of people with eating problems are women.

Women are affected by eating disorders 8 to 10 times more than men. In the United States, ten million females and one million males are fighting anorexia and bulimia.

The following social factors can contribute to eating disorders: Bulimia also has a long history, but it was not included in the psychiatric diagnostic manual until Available information was often accessible only by health professionals serving primarily upper class, white, heterosexual families.

Regarding eating problems as "white concerns" has been based on the assumption that women of color are somehow separate from the problem and can protect themselves from dominant images of beauty and weight. Women of working class were considered not to have time to be weight-conscious.

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They were also thought to be one step away from hunger and therefore they were not susceptible to developing eating problems. These stereotypes took the needed attention from the possibility that the stress of poverty and being overworked may contribute to the development of eating problems.

In the same way, the lack of attention to lesbians with eating problems reflects the bias that they are as a group disinterested in or unaffected by dominant heterosexual beauty standards and therefore would not be at risk. While anorexia and bulimia are certainly encouraged by the diet and fashion, there is more evidence that eating disorders are coping mechanisms that girls and women first develop in response to one or more traumas, including sexual abuse, poverty, homophobia, racism, and the stress of acculturation.

A multicultural picture of eating problems also highlights reasons why those historically left out of the main focus may be especially vulnerable to eating problems.

For example, being one of only a few African American, Latina, or Asian American women in overwhelmingly white schools, neighborhoods, or work environments may cause stress that women may cope with by bingeing or starving.

Depiction of eating disorders in the media

Women who recently immigrated to the U. The processes of exclusion facing many lesbian and gay youth may lead them to turn to or away from food as a means of comfort and companionship. The high financial cost of treatment programs has severely restricted access to professional help for countless women.

Self-help groups such as Overeaters Anonymous and the community-based support-group model developed by the National Black Women's Health Project have provided no-cost, conveniently located assistance for women.

The link between eating problems and socially induced trauma caused by sexism, homophobia, sexual abuse, and racism stresses that the prevention of bulimia and anorexia should not be just an individual concern. There is a change needed in the critical social conditions that may cause the problems, too.

Yet, the prevention of eating problems depends on women's access to economic, cultural, racial, political, social, and sexual justice.Jun 01,  · Eating disorders — which include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating — are a complex set of illnesses caused by genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological and social factors.

Lesson Body Image and Eating Disorders. STUDY. PLAY. Recall a time when you recognized a false body image in the media. Describe the event and highlight one or more methods the media used to create the unrealistic depiction. The media needs to start illustrating eating disorders as an issue that can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.

The media should also correctly convey the seriousness, consequences, and treatment of eating disorders. According to the AMA (American Medical Association), thin models on the catwalk as well as social media and fashion photography lead to unrealistic body expectations, which in turn could lead to eating disorders and other emotional problems.

The answer is complicated. Research supports the idea that there is a familial, genetic component to eating disorders, but it also indicates that the current sociocultural climate, of which the media is a part, plays a role in the development and maintenance of eating can certainly be harder to recover from an eating disorder when one is .

The research on the impact of the media on body dissatisfaction, eating pathology, and negative affect indicates that the media is a causal risk factor for the development of eating disorders and negative affect (Groesz et al., ; Stice, ).

Media portrayals of eating disorders almost exclusively feature emaciated women with protruding collar bones. Beyond blockbuster films and TV shows, these representations are also seen in eating disorder documentaries and the news media’s obsession with the thigh gap. Jun 01,  · Eating disorders — which include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating — are a complex set of illnesses caused by genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological and social factors. Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.. Mental Health Awards.

Controlled experimental studies, prospective studies on perceived pressure, and naturalistic studies support the theory that media messages directly contribute to the .

Eating Disorders and the Role of the Media