Mass Media And Eating Disorders: Article Analysis

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In recent times, more information on eating disorders has become available. As a result, there has also been much debate on whether media contributes to the increase in eating disorders and body image issues. Michael P. Levine and Sarah K. Murnen, in their article, “‘Everybody Knows That Mass Media Are/Are Not [Pick One] A Cause Of Eating Disorders’: A Critical Review Of Evidence For A Causal Link Between Media, Negative Body Image, And Disordered Eating In Females,” seek to evaluate the influence mass media have on young girls. In a similar way, the article, “Concurrent and Prospective Analyses of Peer, Television and Social Media Influences on Body Dissatisfaction, Eating Disorder Symptoms and Life Satisfaction in Adolescent Girls” by Christopher…show more content…
Because idealistic standards of beauty are raised, kids may grow up thinking that they have to look a certain way to be accepted. In their article, “Concurrent And Prospective Analyses Of Peer, Television And Social Media Influences On Body Dissatisfaction, Eating Disorder Symptoms And Life Satisfaction In Adolescent Girls,” Christopher Ferguson et al. mention that “increased incidence of eating disorders across the early and mid-twentieth century seem to coincide with trends in the media toward emphasizing thinness in women,” (2). Additionally, children are constantly exposed to unrealistic body ideals on television, film, and magazines. In fact, “the extent of exposure to magazines that feature and glamorize the thin ideal is positively correlated with disordered eating, even when controlling for the young woman’s level of personal interest in fitness and dieting,” (Levine and Murnen 17). If kids are always being exposed to unhealthy behaviors and ideas, it can make them feel pressured to look like the people they see in mass…show more content…
say they “may provide one outlet for the promulgation of the thin-ideal through advertisements and conversations among peers,” (3). However, research has been done regarding websites that support eating disorders and their habits, like Pro-Anorexia (Pro-Ana) or Pro-Bulimia (Pro-Mia) websites and forums. These websites promote eating disorders by defining them as lifestyle choices. Levine and Murnen state that “their ‘thinspirational’ images of emaciation and their explicit behavioral instructions for attaining and sustaining the thin ideal are intended to reinforce the identity and practices of those already entrenched in AN or BN,” (23). Since children and young adults are impressionable, they may see these pro-eating disorder websites as positive and start to glorify eating disorders.
Mass media influence many aspects of people’s everyday lives. However, sometimes the impact they have can be harmful. One example is the positive correlation between media and eating disorders, especially among young children and adolescents. Because so much of what people see is focused on appearances, it can create harmful and unhealthy behaviors, or eventually,
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