Is The Media Responsible For Eating Disorders?


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The media bombards us with pressure to be thin and perfect, and this kind of pressure does not lead to a healthy self-image or healthy eating habits. Women, especially teenage girls, are particularly vulnerable to the images of celebrity and model bodily perfection that are really just the result of personal trainers, stylists, and airbrushing. Despite the fact that women logically know that bodies portrayed in the media and popular culture are false idols, they still worship and strive for them and some women go as far as harming their bodies by developing eating disorders as a method of weight control. Eating disorders are on the rise across the Western world, and they are now becoming more prevalent in children. The media is not solely to blame for them; there are a variety of biological and environmental factors that contribute to the development of conditions such as anorexia and bulimia. Let’s take a look at some of the basics of eating disorders to get a better idea of how to combat them by creating healthy eating habits.

Eating disorders are a group of conditions characterized by abnormal or unhealthy eating habits; they include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. There is much debate surrounding the precise cause of eating disorders: nobody really knows what causes them for sure. Like many other psychological/medical conditions, it is unclear if biology or environment play crucial roles, but many researchers believe that environmental factors are what shape eating disorders, particularly since they are more prevalent in Western cultures. Many people who develop these disorders have suffered from childhood abuse, be it physical, emotional, or sexual. Teenagers who are particularly influenced by peer pressure and the drive to be thin can also develop eating disorders. Controlling how and what you eat is a way that many deal with stress and feel that they have some order and control over their lives in a very complicated, fast, and high-pressure Western society.

Eating disorders are extremely harmful to the body and mind and if left untreated, they can be fatal. Depending on the disorder, they can cause constipation, scurvy, heart problems, cavities/tooth loss, brain atrophy, electrolyte imbalance, and kidney failure. Eating disorders are severe health problems that need to be dealt with swiftly in order to minimize the risk for permanent, long-term health damage.

There are many courses of treatment for people who suffer from these disorders, ranging from cognitive behavioral therapy to hypnotherapy and inpatient treatment. Helping people with eating disorders to discover an inner peace, inner love for themselves, and healthy eating habits is vital to their recovery and will help them to avoid relapses. If you or someone you know is suffering with an eating disorder don’t wait-get help today.

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Healthy Eating Pitfalls For Teenagers


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Do teenagers need to eat more or differently than adults? In short: yes. The teen years are a time of rapid body development and physical activity, so teenagers need a daily increase of calories, minerals, and vitamins. Teenagers have raging hormones and resultant mood swings, so it is important that they do not miss out on any of the vital nutrients they need. However, what teens should be eating doesn’t vary that much from adults: they still need to consume a healthy, balanced diet comprised of grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. The biggest nutrition challenge during the teen years isn’t that they need a special diet that differs from adults, but that they need help avoiding the many dietary pitfalls that can shape the formation of life-long, unhealthy eating habits. Let’s take a look at two of the major issues teens struggle with in terms of healthy eating:

  • Junk Food: Teens are especially prone to overindulging in fast food and unhealthy treats. Gangs of teenager often congregate at McDonald’s and other fast food centers—junk food is a part of the social fabric of Teendom. Since teens have high metabolisms, coupled with very in the moment thinking, they cannot always see the negative impact that junk food has on their future and it is easy for them to form bad eating habits. As parent of a teen, you can mitigate teen junk food consumption by not falling into the junk food trap yourself—make your home a health food haven and model healthy eating habits—sooner or later, they will probably sink in for your teen.
  • Weight worries: Many teenagers, particularly teenage girls, are extremely worried about their weight, and it is no wonder why: super skinny models and celebrities are everywhere, plastered across billboards and beaming out from TV screens. The teen years are a time when eating disorders are a risk, as teenagers are susceptible to peer pressure, low self-esteem, and an unsure sense of self. As a parent, be open and honest with your children about weight worries, and never under any circumstances comment on their weight in a negative way.

As you can see, there are many impediments standing in the way of teens developing healthy eating habits. Teenagers need guidance from their parents in all areas of life, including health and nutrition. As a parent, this means you have an obligation to your children to model healthy habits to your children so they can mirror them. Make sure that you plan meals that stay away from trans fats, sugars, and processed junk food. Make it a priority to have a home that is focused on wellness and nutrition—it will benefit everyone in the long run.