These days teens face overwhelming pressure to be thin. Models on runways, movies, magazines etc are constantly bombarding our teens to be skinny, particularly teen girls. Not only are they selling products they are advertising, but ascribing an elitist and trendy view toward body image. This leads teens to adopt unhealthy eating habits, resulting in many eating disorders.
Fear of being overweight, rejection from others, unlikablity factor etc create an acute problems for teen girls. Many feel guilty after eating, even if they have overeaten. They are constantly looking at themselves in the mirror and seeking affirmation of their body image from friends. They suffer from anorexia, bulumia, binge eating, obesity etc.
The National Eating Disorder Association estimates over 10 million Americans have an eating disorder. According to the Center for Mental Health Services, 90 percent of Americans with an eating disorder are under 25-years-old.
They see themselves fatter than they really are. there is a blatant contradiction of what they see and how they view their bodies. They constantly psyche themselves to eat less, workout more, keep watch of their body image, ever trying to fit into that perfect image formed in their minds. Their minds are playing a game in which they never succeed.
This week (Feb 25 – Mar 3) is the Eating Disorder Awareness week. Whether you are parent or youthworker, would you broach this topic with teens and young adults in your home or church. Follow the above link for resources & ideas.