Eating disorders could be caused by many factors such as physical, psychological, and social issues. Some may argue that media images have had psychological effects on people with their self-esteem which has been one of the causes of eating disorders. Media may not be directly causing eating disorders, but it definitely affects people on how they think of themselves in comparison with the body images they see on the media. Click HERE for more information about media influence on eating disorders.
For example, the show called "The Biggest Loser" describes obese people as "losers" of this society who fail themselves.
When participants of the show lose weights, they are told or described that they are more worthy and attractive. Although the appearance cannot define every aspect of a person, the media tends to account one's appearance as an important quality of a person. This effect of media can be very dangerous as everyone is exposed to the media all the time. Due to the body images portrayed in the media, people could feel the pressure of being "attractive" which really means being thin. This leads people to the extreme such as eating disorders.
Since the media has strong power over people's development of self-esteem and body image, it would be useful to prevent eating disorders as well as other negative psychological effects on people if the media present more diverse of people with more positive messages about self-esteem.