Tag Archives: Body Image

Macalester College study: Girls’ body image affected by older peers in middle school

24 Sep

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/body_image/body_image.html

Science Daily reported in the article, Middle school dilemma: Girls’ body image affected by older peers:

The media is highly criticized for contributing to body image issues in adolescents. However, a study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly finds a different source for body dissatisfaction among young girls: older girls at school.

A research team led by Jaine Strauss, Professor of Psychology at Macalester College, surveyed 1,536 5th through 8th-grade female students attending schools with different grade groupings. Some 5th and 6th graders attended school with older students (i.e. in districts that follow the “middle school” model) and others attended school with younger students (i.e. in districts where 7th and 8th graders attend a “junior high” apart from younger grades). The students completed three questionnaires asking about their eating habits, attitudes about appearance, and feelings of body consciousness.

The researchers, which also included a high school teacher and two high school students, found that female 5th and 6th graders who were educated alongside older girls reported a greater desire to be thin as well as less satisfaction with and more self-consciousness about their bodies. For example, 5th graders who attended school with 6th through 8th graders had a mean body dissatisfaction score that was 1.7 times higher than girls in the same grade who attended a typical elementary school.

“Elevated levels of body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, thin-ideal internalization, body surveillance, and body shame may undermine young teens’ social, emotional, and academic well-being both during the early teen years and in later life,” the researchers commented. “Although body image tends to decline as girls move through adolescence, this study suggests that school grade groupings may influence the pace and timing of this decline….” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140918091424.htm

Citation:

Middle school dilemma: Girls’ body image affected by older peers
Date: September 18, 2014

Source: SAGE Publications
Summary:
The media is highly criticized for contributing to body image issues in adolescents. However, a study finds a different source for body dissatisfaction among young girls: older girls at school.

Contextualizing the “Student Body”
Is Exposure to Older Students Associated With Body Dissatisfaction in Female Early Adolescents?
1. Jaine Strauss1⇑
2. Jacklyn M. Sullivan2
3. Christine E. Sullivan2
4. Stephen J. Sullivan3
5. Chloe E. Wittenberg1
1. 1Department of Psychology, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, USA
2. 2General Douglas MacArthur High School, Levittown, NY, USA
3. 3Lawrence High School, Cedarhurst, NY, USA
1. Jaine Strauss, Department of Psychology, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105, USA. Email: strauss@macalester.edu
Abstract
Research on teens’ body dissatisfaction documents the role of proximal social influences (e.g., peers and family) and distal social influences (e.g., mass media) but largely ignores intermediate contextual factors such as school environment. Is there a link between individual body image and student body? We assessed drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, and body objectification in an ethnically diverse sample of 1,536 female students educated in U.S. school districts varying in the degree to which younger students (fifth and sixth graders) are educated alongside older students (seventh and eighth graders). We studied three different grade groupings: junior high (Grades K–6 housed together/Grades 7–8 housed together), middle school (K–5/6–8), and extended middle school (K–4/5–8). As predicted, fifth and sixth graders attending schools with older students reported more negative body experiences than their age peers attending schools with younger students; similar effects were evident among seventh graders who had been educated with older peers during fifth and sixth grade. Our findings highlight the importance of considering contextual factors in understanding young women’s body image.
• body image
• adolescent development
• objectification
• school environment
• peer relations

There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. The Child Development Institute has a good article about how to help your child develop healthy self esteem. http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/self-esteem/
Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Resources:

Helping Girls With Body Image
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/style/helping-girls-with-body-image

Characteristics of Middle Grade Students
http://pubs.cde.ca.gov/tcsii/documentlibrary/characteristicsmg.aspx

Middle School Education – Developmental Characteristics http://www.davidson.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=16059

The Young Adolescent Learner
http://www.learner.org/workshops/middlewriting/images/pdf/W1ReadAdLearn.pdf

Traits & Characteristics of Middle School Learners
http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/traits-characteristics-middle-school-learners-17814.html

Association for Middle Level Education: AMLE http://www.amle.org/

Know your students: Nature of the middle school student
http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/68_nature.php

NEA – Brain Development in Young Adolescents http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm

Emotional Development in Middle School | Education.com
http://www.education.com/reference/article/emotional-development-middle-school/

Related

Making time for family dinner
https://drwilda.com/2012/09/10/making-time-for-family-dinner/

Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/18/study-girls-as-young-as-six-think-of-themselves-as-sex-objects/

Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’
https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/social-media-spreads-eating-disorder-thinspiration/

New emphasis on obesity: Possible unintended consequences, eating disorders https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/new-emphasis-on-obesity-possible-unintended-consequences-eating-disorders/

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University of Strathclyde study: Obese children get lower grades

13 Mar

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/body_image/body_image.html

Huffington Post reported in the article, Children Diet To Keep Off Pounds And Ward Off Bullying, Survey Says:

A recent survey of 1,500 of children between ages 7 and 18 revealed that young teens diet and worry about their weight.
About 44 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 13 say they’ve been bullied because of their weight, and more than 40 percent of kids younger than 10 admitted they were concerned about packing on the pounds, with nearly one-fourth reporting having been on a diet in the last year, according to the Press Association….
Last year, 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor resorted to plastic surgery to escape harassment and name-calling, particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook.
“All my friends could see [my nose], all my new friends, and I didn’t want them saying things,” Taylor told Nightline about her decision to get a nose job. “Gossip goes around, and it really hurts.”
Other teens have felt suicide was their only way to escape daily scrutiny about their appearance or sexuality.
Although adolescents get picked on for a variety of reasons, weight is the top reason children are bullied at school, Yahoo! Shine reports.
And according to Rebecca Puhl, Director of Research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University, a new ad campaign in Georgia is only “perpetua[ting] negative stereotypes.”
The ads, which aim to curb childhood obesity rates, feature photos of overweight children accompanied by text, such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/children-diet-bullying_n_1186422.html?ref=email_share

It is situations like this which cause unhealthy eating habits and disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Linda Poon of NPR reported in the story, Obesity Linked To Lower Grades Among Teen Girls:

Since the 1990s, the U.K has seen childhood obesity rates grow at an alarming rate, says John Reilly, specialist in the prevention of childhood obesity at the University of Strathclyde, and the study’s lead author. Today, nearly a quarter of children in U.K. are obese by the time they reach 12. Increasingly, researchers in both the U.S. and the U.K. have been interested in how obesity might affect students’ academic achievement, but Reilly says few studies have examined the same students over several years, or been able tease out obesity’s effects from the influence of social factors, such as socioeconomic status.
The current study analyzed data from nearly 6,000 adolescent students in the U.K., comparing their body mass index from ages 11 to 16 with how well they performed in standardized tests during those years. About 71 percent of the students surveyed were of a “healthy weight” at the start, the researchers said, and about 15 percent were obese. The academic exams, which tested the students’ English, math and science abilities, were given three times — at ages 11, 13 and 16. After adjusting for factors like socioeconomic status, IQ and menstruation cycles, the researchers found that, on average, girls who were obese at age 11 performed worse at age 11, 13 and 16 than girls deemed to have a healthy weight. Being obese at 11, the scientists found, was enough “to lower average attainment to a grade D instead of a grade C,” by age 16…. Though the study followed British teens, Reilly says the findings are likely also applicable to students in the United States, where the proportion of children between the ages 12 and 19 who are obese grew from 5 percent in 1980 to nearly 21 percent by 2012.
“The similarities between the environment, the culture, [and] school systems between the U.S. and the U.K. are more similar than may be obvious,” Reilly says….
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/11/289070502/obesity-linked-to-lower-grades-among-teen-girls?
utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=storyshare

See also, Obesity associated with lower academic attainment in teenage girls, says new study http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311100604.htm

Citation:

Journal Reference:
1.J N Booth, P D Tomporowski, J M E Boyle, A R Ness, C Joinson, S D Leary, J J Reilly. Obesity impairs academic attainment in adolescence: findings from ALSPAC, a UK cohort. International Journal of Obesity, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2014.40

Here is the news release from the Universities of Strathclyde, Dundee, Georgia and Bristol

News Releases
main content
Obesity associated with lower academic attainment in teenage girls, says new study
Obesity in adolescent girls is associated with lower academic attainment levels throughout their teenage years, a new study has shown.
The research conducted by the Universities of Strathclyde, Dundee, Georgia and Bristol is the most comprehensive study yet carried out into the association between obesity and academic attainment in adolescence. The results are published in the International Journal of Obesity.
The results showed that girls who were obese, as measured by BMI (body mass index) at age 11 had lower academic attainment at 11, 13 and 16 years when compared to those of a healthy weight. The study took into account possible mediating factors but found that these did not affect the overall results.
Attainment in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science for obese girls was lower by an amount equivalent to a D instead of a C, which was the average in the sample.
Associations between obesity and academic attainment were less clear in boys.
University of Strathclyde Professor of Physical Activity and Public Health Science, John Reilly – the Principal Investigator of the study – said: “Further work is needed to understand why obesity is negatively related to academic attainment, but it is clear that teenagers, parents, and policymakers in education and public health should be aware of the lifelong educational and economic impact of obesity.”
Dr Josie Booth, of the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee, said: “There is a clear pattern which shows that girls who are in the obese range are performing more poorly than their counterparts in the healthy weight range throughout their teenage years.”
The study examined data from almost 6000 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), including academic attainment assessed by national tests at 11, 13 and 16 years and weight status. 71.4% were healthy weight (1935 male, 2325 female), 13.3% overweight (372 male, 420 female) and 15.3% obese (448 male, 466 female).
The researchers took into account potentially distorting factors such as socio-economic deprivation, mental health, IQ and age of menarche (onset of the menstrual cycle) but found these did not change the relationship between obesity and academic attainment.
This study was funded through a BUPA Foundation grant to the University of Strathclyde. ALSPAC receives core support from the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the University of Bristol.
11 March 2014
Web MD has some excellent information about Anorexia
Anorexia nervosa, commonly referred to simply as anorexia, is one type of eating disorder. More importantly, it is also a psychological disorder. Anorexia is a condition that goes beyond concern about obesity or out-of-control dieting. A person with anorexia often initially begins dieting to lose weight. Over time, the weight loss becomes a sign of mastery and control. The drive to become thinner is actually secondary to concerns about control and/or fears relating to one’s body. The individual continues the ongoing cycle of restrictive eating, often accompanied by other behaviors such as excessive exercising or the overuse of diet pills to induce loss of appetite, and/or diuretics, laxatives, or enemas in order to reduce body weight, often to a point close to starvation in order to feel a sense of control over his or her body. This cycle becomes an obsession and, in this way, is similar to an addiction.
Who is at risk for anorexia nervosa?
Approximately 95% of those affected by anorexia are female, most often teenage girls, but males can develop the disorder as well. While anorexia typically begins to manifest itself during early adolescence, it is also seen in young children and adults. In the U.S. and other countries with high economic status, it is estimated that about one out of every 100 adolescent girls has the disorder. Caucasians are more often affected than people of other racial backgrounds, and anorexia is more common in middle and upper socioeconomic groups. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), other statistics about this disorder include the fact that an estimated 0.5%-3.7% of women will suffer from this disorder at some point in their lives. About 0.3% of men are thought to develop anorexia in their lifetimes
Many experts consider people for whom thinness is especially desirable, or a professional requirement (such as athletes, models, dancers, and actors), to be at risk for eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Health-care professionals are usually encouraged to present the facts about the dangers of anorexia through education of their patients and of the general public as a means of preventing this and other eating disorders.
What causes anorexia nervosa?
At this time, no definite cause of anorexia nervosa has been determined. However, research within the medical and psychological fields continues to explore possible causes.
Studies suggest that a genetic (inherited) component may play a more significant role in determining a person’s susceptibility to anorexia than was previously thought. Researchers are currently attempting to identify the particular gene or genes that might affect a person’s tendency to develop this disorder, and preliminary studies suggest that a gene located at chromosome 1p seems to be involved in determining a person’s susceptibility to anorexia nervosa.
Other evidence had pinpointed a dysfunction in the part of the brain, the hypothalamus (which regulates certain metabolic processes), as contributing to the development of anorexia. Other studies have suggested that imbalances in neurotransmitter (brain chemicals involved in signaling and regulatory processes) levels in the brain may occur in people suffering from anorexia. http://www.onhealth.com/anorexia_nervosa/article.htm

Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle

Related:

Helping Girls With Body Image http://www.webmd.com/beauty/style/helping-girls-with-body-image

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Study: too many kids are pumping up with steroids

20 Nov

Moi wrote in In Children, body image, bullying, and eating disorders, moi said:

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/children-body-image-bullying-and-eating-disorders/

In an attempt to have a buff body many teens are using steroids.

Brian Toporek writes in the Education Week article, Study: Muscle-Enhancing Behaviors Increasingly Common Among Teens:

Both teenage boys and girls are engaging in muscle-enhancing behaviors far more than previously known, according to a study published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

As large, lean, muscular male body images have risen in popularity in Western culture, so too has teenage boys’ dissatisfaction with their own bodies, the study suggests. Some boys thus decide to engage in muscle-enhancing behaviors to shape their bodies like the ones being presented to them in the media.

For this study, three researchers from the University of Minnesota and Columbia University examined data from 2,793 youths (with a mean age of 14.4) at 20 urban middle and high schools taken during the 2009-10 school year. The researchers set out to determine the prevalence of five specific muscle-enhancing behaviors: changing eating habits to increase muscle size, increasing exercise, the use of protein powder, the use of steroids, and the use of other muscle-enhancing substances.

Nearly 70 percent of the boys in the study (897 of 1,307 total) reported having changed their eating habits in order to increase their muscle size or tone within the past 12 months, and more than 90 percent of boys increased their amount of exercise to achieve the same goal.

More than 40 percent of boys reported that they often exercised more to boost their muscle mass or tone, while 39.1 percent sometimes did, and 11.3 rarely did. Only 8.8 percent of boys never did, according to the study.

While changing eating habits and exercising more could each be considered healthy habits, many boys engaged in unhealthy behaviors, too. More than one-third of the boys in the study reported using protein powders or shakes, 5.9 percent reported using steroids, and 10.5 percent reported using some other muscle-enhancing substance.

On the female side, more than 60 percent of girls reported changing their eating habits to increase muscle size or tone, and more than 80 percent of girls exercised more for the same reason. More than 20 percent of girls reported using protein powders or shakes, 4.6 percent reported using steroids, and 5.5 percent reported using other muscle-enhancing substances…

The researchers suggest that pediatricians should ask their adolescent patients about muscle-enhancing behaviors, and say sports physicals could present a perfect opportunity to do so. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/schooled_in_sports/2012/11/muscle-enhancing_behaviors_increasingly_common_among_teens_study_finds.html?intc=es

Generva Pittman of Reuters writes about steroids in the article, One in 20 youth has used steroids to bulk up: study:

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone, the male sex hormone. Steroids are prescribed legally to treat conditions involving hormone deficiency or muscle loss, but when they’re used for non-medical purposes, it’s typically at much higher doses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In those cases, steroids can cause mood swings – sometimes known as roid rage – and for adolescents, stunted growth and accelerated puberty.

Anabolic steroids have become pervasive in professional sports, including baseball, football and boxing. (Another example of performance-enhancing drug use is “blood doping” with erythropoietin or EPO, which is behind the Lance Armstrong cycling controversy that caused him to be stripped of his Tour de France titles last month.)

Experts have worried that the drive to get ahead of competitors at any cost could trickle down to college and high school athletes, as well.

Goldberg, co-developer of the ATLAS and ATHENA programs to prevent steroid and other substance use on high school teams, said it’s important to give teens healthier alternatives to build muscle. http://news.yahoo.com/one-20-youth-used-steroids-bulk-study-052014145.html

Citation:

Muscle-enhancing Behaviors Among Adolescent Girls and Boys

  1. Marla E. Eisenberg, ScD, MPHa,b,
  2. Melanie Wall, PhDc, and
  3. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RDb

+ Author Affiliations

  1. aDivision of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and
  2. bDivision of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and
  3. cDepartments of Biostatistics and Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, New York
    Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Media images of men and women have become increasingly muscular, and muscle-enhancing techniques are available to youth. Identifying populations at risk for unhealthy muscle-enhancingbehaviors is of considerable public health importance. The current study uses a large and diverse population-based sample of adolescents to examine the prevalence of muscle-enhancing behaviors and differences across demographic characteristics, weight status, and sports team involvement.

METHODS: Survey data from 2793 diverse adolescents (mean age = 14.4) were collected at 20 urban middle and high schools. Use of 5 muscle-enhancing behaviors was assessed (changing eating, exercising, protein powders, steroids and other muscle-enhancing substances), and a summary score reflecting use of 3 or more behaviors was created. Logistic regression was used to test for differences in each behavior across age group, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, BMI category, and sports team participation.

RESULTS: Muscle-enhancing behaviors were common in this sample for both boys and girls. For example, 34.7% used protein powders or shakes and 5.9% reported steroid use. Most behaviors were significantly more common among boys. In models mutually adjusted for all covariates, grade level, Asian race, BMI category, and sports team participation were significantly associated with the use of muscle-enhancing behaviors. For example, overweight (odds ratio = 1.45) and obese (odds ratio = 1.90) girls had significantly greater odds of using protein powders or shakes than girls of average BMI.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of muscle-enhancing behaviors is substantially higher than has been previously reported and is cause for concern. Pediatricians and other health care providers should ask their adolescent patients about muscle-enhancing behaviors. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/11/14/peds.2012-0095.abstract

Parents have more influence on their children’s values and beliefs than most are willing to exercise. You need to support your children’s dreams, not yours.

Because people have free will, even the best parents will have children who make mistakes. Some so identified “progressives” will attribute this lapse not to individual free will, but the fact that the message of morality is a failure. It is not. People learn lessons at different speeds, some sooner, some later. Remember the lesson of the Prodigal Son

Resources:

8 Reasons to Make Time for Family Dinner http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20339151,00.html

The Family Dinner Deconstructed                                      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18753715

The Magic of the Family Meal                                          http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html

Related

Making time for family dinner                                             https://drwilda.com/2012/09/10/making-time-for-family-dinner/

Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects https://drwilda.com/2012/07/18/study-girls-as-young-as-six-think-of-themselves-as-sex-objects/

Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’ https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/social-media-spreads-eating-disorder-thinspiration/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                          http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                    https://drwilda.com/

 

Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’

19 Jun

In Children, body image, bullying, and eating disorders, moi said:

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Children Diet To Keep Off Pounds And Ward Off Bullying, Survey Says:

A recent survey of 1,500 of children between ages 7 and 18 revealed that young teens diet and worry about their weight.

About 44 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 13 say they’ve been bullied because of their weight, and more than 40 percent of kids younger than 10 admitted they were concerned about packing on the pounds, with nearly one-fourth reporting having been on a diet in the last year, according to the Press Association….

Last year, 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor resorted to plastic surgery to escape harassment and name-calling, particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook.

All my friends could see [my nose], all my new friends, and I didn’t want them saying things,” Taylor told Nightline about her decision to get a nose job. “Gossip goes around, and it really hurts.”

Other teens have felt suicide was their only way to escape daily scrutiny about their appearance or sexuality.

Although adolescents get picked on for a variety of reasons, weight is the top reason children are bullied at school, Yahoo! Shine reports.

And according to Rebecca Puhl, Director of Research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University, a new ad campaign in Georgia is only “perpetua[ting] negative stereotypes.”

The ads, which aim to curb childhood obesity rates, feature photos of overweight children accompanied by text, such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/children-diet-bullying_n_1186422.html?ref=email_share

It is situations like this which cause unhealthy eating habits and disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Web MD has some excellent information about anorexia. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/children-body-image-bullying-and-eating-disorders/

KING5 News reported the story,‘Thinspiration’ photo trend encouraging anorexia, bulimia http://www.king5.com/health/Thinspiration-encouraging-anorexia-bulimia–159510025.html Carolyn Gregoire wrote the Huffington Post article,THE HUNGER BLOGS: A Secret World Of Teenage ‘Thinspiration’:

“It’s a huge issue,” says Claire Mysko, an advisor to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), who has seen a large increase in the number of pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs since Tumblr exploded in popularity last year. “Young people who are prone to disordered eating are generally plagued with insecurity and feeling very isolated, so this world of pro-ana provides a community and a sense of belonging, and validates their experiences. But unfortunately, it does so in a way that promotes incredibly unhealthy and dangerous behavior.”

Search around on Tumblr, and you’ll find a variety of like-minded thinspo and “fitspo” blogs, absorbed with fashion photographs, food-diary entries, and quotes on willpower and beauty. Every word and image posted declares the user’s allegiance to an underweight ideal of beauty.

After launching in 2007, Tumblr has shown incredible growth — last year, the site generated roughly 15 billion pageviews and attracted 120 million unique visitors each month. What draws teens to Tumblr in the first place — the ease of sharing and finding bloggers with common interests, a parent-free environment (now that Facebook has become family friendly), and the diary-like feel of its blogs — also makes the site conducive to health and weight-loss blogs.

And where those blogs are prevalent, it’s likely that pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia pages that promote disordered eating will thrive, as well. The Tumblr platform is ideal for giving expression to both inspirational and aspirational content — their intimate and frequently anonymous nature make it comfortable for authors to post highly personal information alongside collages of fashion photographs, in an effort to inspire themselves and other girls who are desperate to shed pounds.

“Tumblr, unfortunately, is the perfect toxic expression of these [preoccupations],” says body-image expert Jess Weiner, author of A Very Hungry Girl and contributing editor for Seventeen Magazine.

Although thinspiration sites have been around nearly as long as the Internet itself — as far back as 2001, Yahoo! removed roughly 115 sites (pro-ana was the label used at that time) citing violations of the company’s terms of service — the depth and scope of Tumblr’s teen thinspo community seems unprecedented. Tumblr-based thinspo blogs are a sort of pro-ana 2.0, forgoing chat rooms and message boards in favor of eerily elegant images, sophisticated design, pop-culture references, private messaging, and street-style sensibility. The blogs are reflections of their creators. For millennial girls — uber-connected, style savvy, image-conscious, and concerned about uncertain economic futures — Tumblr offers an intimate, exclusive, and of-the-moment niche community of peers.

The pages are both personal memoirs and public bulletin boards. In one corner, you’ll see a “motivational” quote (“I came into 2012 fat but I’m going to leave it skinny,” which was ‘reblogged,’ or shared, more than 1,500 times), and in another, a photo of Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr strutting down the catwalk. Melancholy song lyrics once reserved for the private corners of dog-eared notebooks (“Come on skinny love, what happened here? Come on skinny love, just last the year,” from Bon Iver’s 2008 indie anthem), share the turmoil of the teenage years with thousands of followers.

The poster girl for thinspo bloggers is Cassie, the starry-eyed, anorexic pill-popper of the British teen television drama Skins, whose image pops up all over the thinspo blogosphere. The models most frequently featured are Karlie Kloss and Kate Moss. An iconic black-and-white photograph of Kate in an oversized T-shirt that reads “I Beat Obesity” is a recurring theme, perfectly capturing the ethos of the thinspo community. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/thinspiration-blogs_n_1264459.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Related:

Helping Girls With Body Image

New emphasis on obesity: Possible unintended consequences, eating disorders                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/new-emphasis-on-obesity-possible-unintended-consequences-eating-disorders/

“Thinspiration”: Social Media’s Dark Side http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/Thinspiration-Social-Medias-Dark-Side-152126335.html

Alarming trend: Kate and Pippa as ‘thinspiration’ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43755965/ns/today-today_health/t/alarming-trend-kate-pippa-thinspiration/#.T-CjLJFPm-Z

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Children, body image, bullying, and eating disorders

9 Jan

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Children Diet To Keep Off Pounds And Ward Off Bullying, Survey Says:

A recent survey of 1,500 of children between ages 7 and 18 revealed that young teens diet and worry about their weight.

About 44 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 13 say they’ve been bullied because of their weight, and more than 40 percent of kids younger than 10 admitted they were concerned about packing on the pounds, with nearly one-fourth reporting having been on a diet in the last year, according to the Press Association….

Last year, 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor resorted to plastic surgery to escape harassment and name-calling, particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook.

“All my friends could see [my nose], all my new friends, and I didn’t want them saying things,” Taylor told Nightline about her decision to get a nose job. “Gossip goes around, and it really hurts.”

Other teens have felt suicide was their only way to escape daily scrutiny about their appearance or sexuality.

Although adolescents get picked on for a variety of reasons, weight is the top reason children are bullied at school, Yahoo! Shine reports.

And according to Rebecca Puhl, Director of Research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University, a new ad campaign in Georgia is only “perpetua[ting] negative stereotypes.”

The ads, which aim to curb childhood obesity rates, feature photos of overweight children accompanied by text, such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/children-diet-bullying_n_1186422.html?ref=email_share

It is situations like this which cause unhealthy eating habits and disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Web MD has some excellent information about Anoxeria

Anorexia nervosa, commonly referred to simply as anorexia, is one type of eating disorder. More importantly, it is also a psychological disorder. Anorexia is a condition that goes beyond concern about obesity or out-of-control dieting. A person with anorexia often initially begins dieting to lose weight. Over time, the weight loss becomes a sign of mastery and control. The drive to become thinner is actually secondary to concerns about control and/or fears relating to one’s body. The individual continues the ongoing cycle of restrictive eating, often accompanied by other behaviors such as excessive exercising or the overuse of diet pills to induce loss of appetite, and/or diuretics, laxatives, or enemas in order to reduce body weight, often to a point close to starvation in order to feel a sense of control over his or her body. This cycle becomes an obsession and, in this way, is similar to an addiction.

Who is at risk for anorexia nervosa?

Approximately 95% of those affected by anorexia are female, most often teenage girls, but males can develop the disorder as well. While anorexia typically begins to manifest itself during early adolescence, it is also seen in young children and adults. In the U.S. and other countries with high economic status, it is estimated that about one out of every 100 adolescent girls has the disorder. Caucasians are more often affected than people of other racial backgrounds, and anorexia is more common in middle and upper socioeconomic groups. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), other statistics about this disorder include the fact that an estimated 0.5%-3.7% of women will suffer from this disorder at some point in their lives. About 0.3% of men are thought to develop anorexia in their lifetimes

Many experts consider people for whom thinness is especially desirable, or a professional requirement (such as athletes, models, dancers, and actors), to be at risk for eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Health-care professionals are usually encouraged to present the facts about the dangers of anorexia through education of their patients and of the general public as a means of preventing this and other eating disorders.

What causes anorexia nervosa?

At this time, no definite cause of anorexia nervosa has been determined. However, research within the medical and psychological fields continues to explore possible causes.

Studies suggest that a genetic (inherited) component may play a more significant role in determining a person’s susceptibility to anorexia than was previously thought. Researchers are currently attempting to identify the particular gene or genes that might affect a person’s tendency to develop this disorder, and preliminary studies suggest that a gene located at chromosome 1p seems to be involved in determining a person’s susceptibility to anorexia nervosa.

Other evidence had pinpointed a dysfunction in the part of the brain, the hypothalamus (which regulates certain metabolic processes), as contributing to the development of anorexia. Other studies have suggested that imbalances in neurotransmitter (brain chemicals involved in signaling and regulatory processes) levels in the brain may occur in people suffering from anorexia.

Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle

Related:

Helping Girls With Body Image

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Should there be advertising in schools?

10 Nov

Joanna Lin of California Watch has written an interesting article which was posted at Huffington Post. In the article, Corporate Sponsorship In Schools Can Harm Students, Experts Say, Lin describes how cash strapped districts are using ad dollars to make up budget shortfalls.

For schools facing shrinking budgets, a branded scoreboard on the football field or advertisement on a school bus can bring some much-needed cash. But such corporate sponsorships also could undermine students’ critical thinking skills, education policy experts warn.

While commercialism in schools can directly harm students — marketing sodas and candy undermines nutrition curriculums, for instance — it also might discourage students from thinking critically about the brands, messages or topics sponsored in their schools, according to a report released by the National Education Policy Center.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/corporate-sponsorship-in-_n_1084072.html?ref=email_share

The issue is whether children in a “captive” environment have the maturity and critical thinking skills to evaluate the information contained in the ads. Advertising is about creating a desire for the product, pushing a lifestyle which might make an individual more prone to purchase products to create that lifestyle, and promoting an image which might make an individual more prone to purchase products in pursuit of that image. Many girls and women have unrealistic body image expectations which can lead to eating disorders in the pursuit of a “super model” image. What the glossy magazines don’t tell young women is the dysfunctional lives of many “super models” which may involve both eating disorders and substance abuse. The magazines don’t point out that many “glamor girls” are air-brushed or photo-shopped and that they spend hours on professional make-up and professional hairstyling in addition to having a personal trainer and stylist. In other words, when presented with any advertising, people must make a determination what to believe.

Amy Aidman lists the types of advertising in schools in the article, Advertising in the Schools.

TYPES OF ADVERTISING

“Captive Kids,” a new report by the CUES (1995) summarizes the routes of commercial messages into schools, examines some of those messages, and discusses the meaning of the enormous influx of corporate-produced materials into the schools. The report, which is a follow-up to the earlier report, “Selling America’s Kids” (CUES, 1990), divides the examples of in-school commercialism into four categories:

IN-SCHOOL ADS. In-school ads are conspicuous forms of advertising that can be seen on billboards, on school buses, on scoreboards, and in school hallways. In-school ads include ads on book covers and in piped-in radio programming. Advertising is also found in product coupons and in give-aways that are distributed in schools.

ADS IN CLASSROOM MATERIALS AND PROGRAMS. Ads in classroom materials include any commercial messages in magazines or video programming used in school. The ads in “Channel One” fall into this category.

CORPORATE-SPONSORED EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS AND PROGRAMS. Promotional messages appearing in sponsored educational materials may be more subtle than those in the previous categories. Sponsored educational materials include free or low-cost items which can be used for instruction. These teaching aids may take the form of multimedia teaching kits, videotapes, software, books, posters, reproducible activity sheets, and workbooks. While some of these materials may be ad-free, others may contain advertising for the producer of the item, or they may contain biased information aimed at swaying students toward a company’s products or services.

CORPORATE-SPONSORED CONTESTS AND INCENTIVE PROGRAMS. Contests and incentive programs bring brand names into the schools along with the promise of such rewards as free pizzas, cash, points toward buying educational equipment, or trips and other prizes.

Here is the complete citation:

ERIC Identifier: ED389473
Publication Date: 1995-12-00
Author: Aidman, Amy
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education Urbana IL.  http://www.ericdigests.org/1996-3/advertising.htm

Advertising, if it is allowed in schools, must be handled with great care. It is not just the ads, it is the values that the individual ad and the totality of all ads represent. It is imperative that schools look at their values before approving ads. For example, are the ads promoting healthy nutrition and eating habits? Are the ads promoting an unrealistic body image for adolescents? Are the ads promoting a purely materialistic lifestyle which encourages purchases of high priced clothing, electronics, or vehicles which are not in line with the income of most children? Are the ads in line with the school or district’s mission statement?

Schools are looking at the fast buck situation and they are like many states who are looking at gambling and other “sin” activities to fill empty coffers. Problem is that with many fast buck remedies: “easy come, easy go.”

It is easy for children to get derailed because of peer pressure in an all too permissive society. The real answer is to fully fund education.

Resources:

NEA Today: Cash-Strapped Schools Open Their Doors to Advertising http://neatoday.org/2011/11/03/cash-strapped-schools-open-their-doors-to-advertising/

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