Eating disorders are one of the most common problems today’s youth face. The most common factor that causes eating disorders is television. This includes people of all genders and ages, does television influence eating disorders to such a degree that it causes more than twenty-four thousand people to suffer from an eating disorder in the United States alone? Is this number low? Let us find out.
There have been many studies done about how much television influences eating disorders. One study, published in 1999, found that when the participants were given a list of images, some of them disturbing in nature, and asked to rate how disturbing each image was, they often chose the one that was on the list that was rated most disturbing. Another study, also done in 1999, found that women who had suffered from disordered eating were far more likely to visit strip clubs than other women were. Does this sound like a sure-fire way to gain weight? Well, the answer may not be so cut and dried, but it is a fact, at least research has shown it to be true.
Now, let us look at this in a slightly different perspective. Consider if you will the effects of violent imagery on young teens. Would it be so hard to believe that screen time, which includes violent imagery can lead to more binge eating or even an actual disorder? I believe the answer is yes, it is scary and concerning to realize that these things could be happening to our youth today. One needs to take a step back and look at this to make sense of why this is happening.
One theory is that because there are so many young people spending so much time online, it has led to a decrease in moral and values in society. These young people feel like everything they do is monitored and therefore they need to consume a lot of unhealthy food, which is readily available on the internet. In addition to this there is a great deal of peer pressure among those that are “addicted” to social media. Is it any wonder then that these things are leading to more binge-eating disorder and addiction? It also leads to less family time and family disputes over food.
Another theory on why there is an increase in binge-eating disorder and social media is that there are fewer opportunities for physical exercise. We live in a society where we depend on screen time and computers to get our energy up and help us relax. It would not be surprising if this was the cause of more people having disorders such as anorexia.
What does this all mean? Well, it means that we have less physical exercise and more time on our computers. This is not healthy. When you are depressed or have other mental health issues, it is best to avoid watching television, going online for unnecessary screen time and video games. However, with most families now having two or more children, screen time and computer time are more common.
covid-19 states that many teenagers want to have fun and find themselves in binge-eating disorders. This trend seems to be continuing into adulthood. Some are worried that it may lead to serious health problems. Muth said that she sees people with addictions to sugary foods and other forms of poor nutrition that lead to heart disease. She mentioned that there are studies out there that show that those that are exposed to screen time and computer screens for prolonged periods of time are at a higher risk for osteoporosis.
In conclusion, it is important to know that eating disorder and social media is a very real issue. We must be careful to watch for signs that someone may be suffering from an eating disorder and get them help as soon as possible. Muth noted that the sooner someone gets treatment, the better their chances of a full recovery.