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Societal Pressures Causing Eating Disorders, Research Proposal Example

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Research Proposal

Introduction

The number of eating disorders and associated medical problems in the US has been attributed to the stress and pressures placed upon individuals in society. Eating disorders are fairly common amongst children and teenagers who are concerned about looks and appearance.  An image conscious society condemns obesity whilst placing pressure on the young to remain slim, healthy and stay in shape.  This has often resulted in excessive diet or bad dietary practices resulting in such illnesses as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Even celebrities are vulnerable and the late Princess Diana in the UK suffered these problems from stress and societal pressure.

It is important that parents recognize the symptoms in their children and seek medical support at an early stage. This may even result in psychological problems needs the intervention of psychological treatment. (Bruch).

Societal Issues

There is no doubt that society places untold pressure on the young but there are other factors such as genetics and getting involved with substance abuse.  Stress from peers during the teenage period is particularly hard for both male and females to retain the young slim look without becoming outcast from societal groups.  Studies have been carried out suggesting that women who are prone to eating disorders have also been linked to substance abuse, thereby creating an added dimension of concern. The media have also had a profound impact on the young people with the most popular magazines for teenagers promoting the young thin look.

Girls are particularly vulnerable to the image conscious magazines that promote diet plans. Hence, what often starts as a harmless way of losing weight can lead to obsessive behaviour patterns and essentially lead to conditions like Anorexia Nervosa.  Men were equally pushed towards changing body shape by combinations of weight loss and muscle building.  Both males and females of this age need to take adequate consultation from medical professionals as to a suitable program that meets their specific needs. (Andersen). The subject matter is important for both parents and teenagers if appropriate prevention measures are to be taken at an early stage.

References

Andersen, A.E. “Diet vs. shape content of popular male and female magazines: A dose-response relationship to the incidence of eating disorders.” International Journal of Eating disorders Vol 6 (2006): 283-287. Medical Journal.

Bruch, Hilde. Eating disorders: Obesity, anorexia nervosa and the person within. London: Routledge, 1974. Textbook.

Claire C. Holderness., Jeanne Brooks-Gunn Ph.D., Dr. Michelle P. Warren M.D.3,*. “Co-morbidity of eating disorders and substance abuse review of the literature.” International Journal of Eating Disorders Vol 1 (2006): 1-2. journal article.

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