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eating disorders

Eating Disorders

Satellite television first became available to the island nation of Fiji in 1996, followed by a reported 15 percent of teenage girls suffering from anorexia nervosa. According to Dr. Mitzi Doane, an associate professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota Duluth, prior to 1996, eating disorders of any kind were unheard of in Fiji.
Doane gave a presentation on eating disorders Tuesday. Every month the UMD Medical School puts on “Doc Talks? where doctors speak to the public about various current medical issues. Doane has worked with eating disorders since the 1970s.
Doane said instances of anorexia have doubled since 1985 and instances of bulimia have tripled. She blames the media and western society’s definition of beauty as ‘thin’.
In Japan, eating disorders have become “the most significant problem in female teens.? Doane said that Japanese culture mimics American culture to a great degree, especially in the entertainment industry.
Research indicates that 1 percent of adolescents in the United States have anorexia and 8 percent of female college students have bulimia. Doane said that this number increases quite a bit on the east coast, California, and Florida. These are the coastal states and the beach is the place to be seen. Prevalence of anorexia in France is as high as 5.7 percent, where the culture is dominated by high fashion and trend.
Anorexia does not only affect young women. Essence Magazine put out a survey to its readers dealing with eating disorders. They received an overwhelming 80 percent response rate. 1 out of every 250 heterosexual males reported suffering from anorexia, most ages 15 to 30. The rates were even higher for reports of bulimia. Doane said that for homosexual male respondents, these figures skyrocketed. 14 percent reported anorexia and 20 percent reported bulimia.
“Gay men get thrown into the same meat market mentality that women deal with,? said Doane. “In our culture, they don’t care about your SAT score, or if you’re going to be suma cum lade, but they sure care about your physical appearance.?
According to Doane it starts at a very young age with GI Joes and Barbie Dolls. These unrealistic images are “what we give our little girls and boys to play with.? Doane said it’s also present in any popular videogame today.
“Pay attention to what’s going on in television,? said Doane. It’s not just on the tube; it’s in print as well. “37 percent of articles in leading teen girl magazines include a focus on appearance,? said Doane. An even larger percent of advertisements used ‘beauty’ to sell products.
The average American woman is 5’4? and weighs 145 lbs. The average supermodel is 5’11? and weighs 117 lbs. “In 1980 the lowest size was 4!? exclaimed Doane, getting worked up while discussing the size double zero that is now available for women’s clothing.
“We need to start teaching our kids how to be media savvy,? prescribed Doane for the anorexia and bulimia epidemic. “The more they can convince you that you’re not okay, the more money they can make.?