Mass Media and Other Contributors to Eating Disorders

A notable amount of the literature and research conducted on eating disorders has been devoted to reporting the influence of mass media on individuals with eating disorders. Many proclaim that mass media advocate a standard of slim beauty that is unattainable and unrealistic. It is easy to point a finger at the media and declare, “The media causes eating disorders.” This statement, however, is extreme. It singles out the mass media as the main culprit behind why eating disorders are so prevalent in Western countries and is a growing problem in East Asian countries. The statement simplifies eating disorders as if they stem from one problem and ignores many other factors that play roles in this complex group of psychological disorders. This essay will briefly discuss factors such as family influences, psychological elements, and neurological and genetic factors that, in addition to the media, contribute to eating disorders.

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Nature vs Nurture in Bulimia Nervosa

Extensively studied, bulimia nervosa is a condition where individuals have persistent concerns with their body image and weight. They have frequent episodes of binge eating followed by either purging or fasting for days to compensate for the large amount of food eaten earlier. A large amount of research has been dedicated to finding the possible influences that drive bulimics to such extreme eating behaviors. Findings are not exclusively supporting either the nature or the nurture side of the debate. Rather, they add insight to the whole picture of the disorder. This essay will discuss some findings that provide a nature view of bulimia and some that provide a nurture view.

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