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The Changing Portrayal of Adolescents in the Media Since 1950$
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Patrick Jamieson and Daniel Romer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342956.001.0001

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Adolescent Body Image and Eating in the Media

Adolescent Body Image and Eating in the Media

Trends and Implications for Adolescent Health

(p.165) 6 Adolescent Body Image and Eating in the Media
The Changing Portrayal of Adolescents in the Media Since 1950

Kristen Harrison

Oxford University Press

Body image and eating behavior are important factors in adolescent development because they can have grave effects, including anorexia, bulimia, and obesity. Over 36% of deaths in the U.S. have recently been linked to cardiovascular disease, which has part of its origin in poor diet. From 40% to 60% of adolescent girls and women are dissatisfied with some aspect of their bodies, and media portrayals have been linked to such beliefs. Trends in media portrayal of the ideal female body indicate that she has gotten thinner while the actual weight of American and Canadian women has increased. Consistent exposure to the thin ideal may increase the risks of not just body dissatisfaction and disordered eating but also obesity, steroid use, surgery, and drug mixing. Various strategies for counteracting these trends are discussed.

Keywords:   adolescent girls, media portrayal, body image, eating disorder

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