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The Role of Media in Promoting Eating Disorders among Teenagers

Updated on October 2, 2015

Definition of the term beauty


Media has become of the most powerful agent of change in the world. It is influencing each and every decision being made. Media people are the most influential in all the areas of life. They decide what the people eat, what they dress and how they live. Their definitions of terms become the society’s view on the various topics. One of the most important elements of human life they are affecting is nutrition.

When they say that being slim or thin is fashionable it becomes the order of nature, but how is this thing impacting on the well being of children especially teenagers who have no choice but take everything that they see or hear from the celebrities. When they hear that slimming will make one beautiful, they are ready to forego everything for that. I believe that you heard a story of a girl who chose not to eat until she fell sick in the name of being beautiful. She chose never to follow the social sites anymore after the recovery from the problem.

Let us know look at the ways through which media affects the psychology of young people and how this affect their nutritional behavior.

The real definition of the term beauty

Beauty in women according to many young girls is slimness. They say slimness is sexy. This is because their mind has been corrupted by the adverts that they see in televisions or social sites. They become convinced that those people who are acting are the very best that the society has. The most quite unfortunate bit is that they lack someone who can make them know the truth that true beauty starts from within. It is the confidence or the way that they feel about themselves that matters

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a condition that arises when a person starves himself or herself. The reasons for self starvation include fear of adding weight or losing the shape of a ‘model’. We all know from our Biology lessons that our body requires energy and to function normally. So what are the effects of failing to meet the calories demand in the body?. This anorexia nervosa is a life threatening condition as it may lead to organ failure. In girls as a way of conserving the little energy it has, they may miss their periods. As I had already mentioned earlier, if things go on in that direction one may lose life due to the failure to meet the body energy demands.

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa another condition which often arises when a person eats huge amounts of food for a given number of days and then purges due to the fear of gaining abnormal weight. The only difference between anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa is that while cessation is continuous in anorexia nervosa, in bulimia it is intermittent. Durations of excessive eating followed by cessation. The fears are almost similar to those of anorexia nervosa and that is adding weight and losing shape.

Effects of Bulimia on body organs


Parental advice

This is where good parenting should come in. Boosting the self confidence of your child and letting them know that they look great the way they are. Letting them know that that definition of the term beauty only applies to the media people and everyone has to eat right amounts of food in order to survive and be productive.

Sedentary lifestyle


Obesity and its risks

To some other people, the impact of media on their nutritional status, the case is totally different from the one I talked about. In many homes, people are so much attached to the programs that they watch in television or the games they play in computers that they have little or no time for physical activities. They spend much of their time facing computer or Television screen and in many cases eating popcorns or drinking soft drinks. In such people, their bodies receive much higher calories than it requires because of their sedentary lifestyle. The body has a mechanism of storing the excess calories inform of fat and they therefore gain weight quickly and become obese. This comes with some serious health risks. In adolescents, it raises the risks of coronary heart disease. In aged people, cases of diabetes and high blood pressure rise. A research which was conducted in America found that cases of overweight in children were related to the number of hours that a child watches television. That is why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put immeasurable effort in educating people on lifestyle diseases and how to manage obesity.

Internet addiction disorder

Living in black hole
Living in black hole | Source

Internet addiction disorder

Many youths have become addicted to the internet. This always leads to Internet addiction behavior (IED). Youths with this disorder find themselves attached to computers. It has scientifically been proved that all forms of addiction have an impact on nutritional behavior. They cause impulsive eating behavior.

Parents have a role in ensuring that their children balance the time they spend on physical activities and on other sedentary activities.


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    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 2 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      For some children, this is the only life that they know, because it is all that has been ever modeled to them,