Media Influence on Eating Disorders: Unveiling Challenges and Solutions - Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-19
Media Influence on Eating Disorders: Unveiling Challenges and Solutions - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Social media Disorder
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1820 words
16 min read

The impact of media has been recognized in almost every aspect of life. Almost every individual is currently observed to have access to and the ability to use the various available media platforms. For instance, television and social media. With this, there is the observation of the pressures resulting from the multiple media platforms. Attention to the different lifestyles and preferred trends by different individuals or most of the population. The same is observed in the various food trends with the fear of being overweight or extremely underweight. Such is the significant impact that media presents on people’s relationships with food and its perception. It is considering how different media users are advertising their various lifestyle and their concepts of healthy living. The presentation of the preferred types and the relation of the same to specific food choices. An individual with any eating disorder frequently interacts with such posts and advertisements, which then presents some pressure to achieve such body types or adhere to certain diets (Hesse-Biber et al.). Media presents a significant impact on individuals with eating disorders with the added possibility of advanced development of such situations.

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It is essential first to understand how eating disorders arise and the causes the same. There are either biological, several environmental variables, or psychological factors that result in the existence of an eating disorder in a person. Self-image has been identified as one of the significant aspects that result in activities initiation to reduce the resultant effects of this disorder. Individuals develop thoughts or ideas of how they need to introduce different living ways to address this condition.

Media is then associated with the psychological and environmental aspects of this disorder. The pressure that now arises and the desire to be presentable and acceptable to society. The observation of how the influence of media has resulted in increased severity of eating disorders. It is considering that it is currently an unavoidable aspect of life.

The influence of media is observed to make people develop disorderly eating patterns. There is the consideration that there are other factors that influence the development of eating disorders. The correlation between media and these other factors is now observed to lead to the advancement of eating disorders. Research shows that media has been established as one of the risk factors contributing to individuals developing disorderly eating forms (Thompson & Heinberg 348). The major interpreted aspect is bodily dissatisfaction from the perception of a lack of acceptance and association with society (Thompson & Heinberg 347).

Also, affected individuals are observed to develop eating patterns that lead to the inappropriate intake of foods. It is also with the eruption of a poor self-concept with individuals developing negative perceptions of their physical appearance and their acceptance in society. Such arises from the frequent comparison with individuals showcasing themselves on these social media platforms. There is an addition of the positive reaction that the general public allocated to such posts.

With this, there is then the development of the idea that one needs to change a particular aspect of their life to be able to attain such appearances or stature. Peer pressure has also been identified as the other concept presented with the presence of social media. The promotion of the preference and association with certain body types. The frequent forms of criticism that individuals are already suffering from eating disorders face over such platforms.

There are difficulties in handling eating disorders with individuals being subjected to the various programs that suggest strenuous weight loss programs. It is considering the implementation of unnatural procedures to actualize the same. Accompanying such are diets that go against the norm of healthy dieting. Enrolled personnel were then observed to develop eating disorders with the continued desire to indulge in such programs.

In the current digital world, different forms of media are readily available. It is identified that such platforms are a crucial avenue for the transfer and use of information. It is then considering the various trends associated with various aspects of life. Health education is one of such trends in promoting the appropriate ways of life that individuals should consider adhering to. There is the sensitization of the prevalence of various lifestyle diseases. These are associated with health-related mortalities. Such has been identified as one of the underlying concepts that equally promote the idea by several individuals on the need to align their eating habits to suggest appropriate ways of living and nutrition. It has also been identified to be a crucial cause of the development of different forms of eating disorders.

Individuals are then attempting to accommodate suggested diets where they lack sufficient knowledge to incorporate their normal feeding habits correctly. Also, such diets have proved to be costly for a low or middle-income person. It then forces individuals to adopt worrying diet preferences or choices that consequently result in the development and prevalence of eating disorders.


Various societies lacked the consideration of slim body types. Such was then related to the traditional perceptions of these commodities to prefer better-developed physiques. However, the introduction and continued spread of Westernized television has led to the observation of individuals attempting strategies to regulate their weight. It then concerns the expectations that have been instilled in them to the desire to fit bodies. Such led to the observation of people developing feeding habits that showcased eating disorders’ properties—all in the attempt to lose weight over significantly short durations.


The life presented by the various influential people on social media is usually no how they live normally. It is an exaggeration that is purposed to better their reputation and recognition to high-level living lifestyles. Such people are observed to showcase how slim body types are preferred. Their followers are then under pressure to copy and live such kind of lifestyles. In a real sense, attaining such body types naturally requires time, commitment, and correct procedures.

However, the pressure associated with it leads to the development of eating disorders to realize such results instantly. It is in an attempt to control how an individual body immediately reacts to desired changes. The resultant, however, is the opposite of what one expected. There is the development of eating disorders that are hard to address or move away from (Thompson & Heinberg 346). It suggests the adoption of irregular and unhealthy feeding programs that end up causing more harm than good.

Social media has also reduced the frequency of physical interactions among people. It is from the possibilities of texting and video calls whenever the need arises. Studies have shown that different individuals indulge in disordered eating manners when they have secluded themselves from others (Derenne & Beresin 132). With the lack of need for frequent physical interactions, this is a more occurring possibility. Such is attributed to the form of shame that people associate with eating disorders. Also, the idea that society has a negative picture with regards to the personality of such individuals.

Social media is the most accessible form of media or has been identified to present significant forms of harm regarding eating disorders. There is identifying how individuals recovering from eating disorders are faced with difficulties in establishing better social circles. It is considering how their previous conditions resulted in minimal interactions with other individuals, resulting in the development of more solitary personalities. Such individuals then find difficulty in attempts to develop better social relationships.

Support from such associations would play an important role in successful recovery from a particular eating disorder (Mc Lean et al. 848). It is considering that minimum physical contact is required to communicate. Social media then eliminates the possibility of more physical involvement with one’s peers. Such leads to the development of exclusion senses as individuals are not mostly included in the various interesting activities that other individuals indulge in.

As already observed, the observance of the different lifestyles that other individuals are associated with (Mc Lean et al. 848). There are frequent experiences of the feeling of being left out results in the reoccurrence of disorderly behavior. Such is associated with the developed perception of how their condition relates to others not readily accepting them which can explain their avoidance of including a person in given outdoor activities. The outcome of such situations is the resort to indulging in disorderly eating habits. It is with the desire to for in and be readily accepted by others.

Bullying has similarly been identified as one of the contributing factors to the development of eating disorders in a significant number of individuals. Such has been established from the recorded statements by affected individuals on how bullying victims resulted in eating disorders. Social media offers bullies an interactive platform where they can easily target their victims. Such presents the concepts of cyberbullying that are now actualized through different media sites, specifically social media.

An individual suffering from eating disorders qualifies as a potential victim of such bullies. Their victim selection criteria are then based on certain undermining characteristics that one might possess. The impact that bullying presents on a person’s self-identification and worth is observed to be significant. The consequences of this are the development of depression and anxiety situations that push affected individuals to resort to disorderly eating behaviors—the presence of such conditions established to worsen the effect prevalence of any eating disorder.


Media is observed to significantly impact the decision of different individuals to resort to disorderly eating behaviors. It is from the availability of a lot of dietary information and expectation to adhere to the same. Different forms of media are observed to present the expected and preferred body types by society. Such presents pressure to the various individuals who occasionally interact with such information. The desire to then achieve desired body changes over short periods results in adopting certain eating disorders. It is also considering the various underlying situations or factors that contribute to the development of such behaviors. Personal identity is a key determining factor in the development of given eating disorders.

Works Cited

Derenne, Jennifer, and Eugene Beresin. “Body image, media, and eating disorders—a 10-year update.” Academic Psychiatry, Vol. 42, No.1, 2018, pp. 129-134.

Hesse-Biber, Sharlene, et al. “The mass marketing of disordered eating and eating disorders: The social psychology of women, thinness, and culture.” Women’s Studies International Forum. Vol. 29. No. 2. Pergamon, 2006.

McLean, Siân A., et al. “A pilot evaluation of a social media literacy intervention to reduce risk factors for eating disorders.” International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 50, No.7, 2017, pp. 847-851.

Thompson, J. Kevin, and Leslie J. Heinberg. “The media’s influence on body image disturbance and eating disorders: We’ve reviled them, now can we rehabilitate them?.” Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 55, No. 2, 1999, pp. 339-353.

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