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eating disorders

The Media is Driving Eating Disorders in Teens

The Media is Driving Eating Disorders in Teens 150 150 se_admin

Media and Self-Image

We are constantly bombarded with what the “ideal body” should look like. It is omnipresent in all kinds of media such as television, billboards, magazines, and even more commonly these days, on social media. As the media attempts to dictate what “pretty” means, it is very damaging to the most impressionable: young girls faced with extremely unrealistic body standards. Most will not fit the extremely thin, tall, and overall “flawless” images that are pushed every day.

While we should be celebrating diversity and how everyone is unique, that is not generally what trends as popular content. This ends up sowing discontent with personal appearances and leads to greater insecurities and potentially eating disorders.

Self-esteem drop

Young girls who are struggling with their weight or their appearance seem to hear the media screaming, “You need to look this way to be pretty.” This can lead to a lot of self-esteem issues.

In a study, reported on by the New York Times, researchers found that at 9 years old, when girls were asked if they were comfortable with how they looked and who they were, 60 percent responded positively. Once they hit high school, this figure steeply dropped to 29 percent. This shows that there’s a serious factor making young girls’ self-esteems plummet and many think that factor is the media. Low self-esteem is a factor in the development of an eating disorder.

What causes eating disorders in teens?

There are many factors that contribute to the development of eating disorders. From the Mayo Clinic, some of the common external factors that lead to eating disorders in teens include:

  • Society’s pressure: this includes the popular idea that thin is healthy. Many girls with average weights could develop the perception that they’re not thin enough.
  • Activities that require a certain body type: this includes activities like modeling or athletic sports. Often these activities emphasize leanness, increasing the risk for teen eating disorders.

How to get help

Eating disorders in teens can become a huge, life-ruining issue if ignored. With the proper treatment and care, your daughter can overcome their disorder and move forward. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for struggling girls, ages 14 to 17. Solstice East specializes in providing care and treatment for girls having difficulties dealing with trauma, self-esteem issues, and many more.

For more information on how Solstice East can help with eating disorders in teens, call us today at 828-484-9946.

Eating Disorders in Teen Athletes

Eating Disorders in Teen Athletes 150 150 se_admin

With media today, body image in teen girls has become an increasing problem. Teens feel more pressure to fit a specific body type, which is ultimately leading to more and more issues with eating disorders in youth. As a growing number of teen girls participate in sports, health issues have begun to arise from eating disorders in teen athletes. A recent article by Reuters discussed how eating disorders in teen athletes has begun to increase, and the need for doctors and parents to be aware of the health risks.

The Female Athlete Triad

Eating disorders in teen athletes can be seen when teens exercise too much and don’t eat enough calories to maintain the amount of physical activity. The health issues associated with eating disorders in teen athletes include: disordered eating, a halt in monthly menstrual cycles known as amenorrhea, and a bone-thinning disease known as osteoporosis. These three issues are known as the female athlete triad. Girls can have just one of these problems or a combination, in varying degrees.

The Dangers of Over Training

While sports can have tremendous benefits like improved self-esteem and better physical and mental health, doctors, parents, and coaches need to be aware of eating disorder habits in teen athletes. If teens begin to train too hard, the elements of the triad can surface, which can have dangerous consequences on girl’s bodies.

Timothy Neal, a researcher with the athletic training program at Concordia University in Ann Arbor Michigan states:

“It has been my experience that coaches, parents, pediatricians and family practice physicians are not experienced in caring for athletes, and athletes themselves are not aware of the health risks unique to the triad for female athletes. Parents, athletes, pediatricians, coaches and certified athletic trainers should be aware of signs and symptoms of eating disorders, including those athletes who display signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger, isolation, and other behaviors that may indicate a mental health disorder.”

Be Aware of Your Body

Being aware of your body and the signals it’s giving you is an important part of staying healthy. Teen’s and parents should be aware of the risks low-calorie intake and excessive exercise can have on the body physically and emotionally. If your worried your teen is suffering from eating disorders in teen athletes, there are programs that can help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946!


Eating Disorder Behaviors

Eating Disorder Behaviors 150 150 se_admin

A General Understanding of Eating Disorder Behaviors

When people envision someone with eating disorder behaviors, the most common image is of a young, thin, Caucasian female. But the reality is that anyone can be struggling with eating disorder behaviors, including your brother, best friend, father, or mother. Eating disorder behaviors do not differentiate based on gender, age, social status, body size, race, or ethnicity. While anyone can have an eating disorder, girls often struggle with stereotypical expectations from their peers to be skinny, voluptuous, and beautiful. They are life-threatening mental illnesses and are often highly misunderstood. An article by Psychology Today discusses how to recognize eating disorder behaviors.

How We Judge the Conditions of an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are one of the few mental illnesses where we base an individual’s level of suffering on their physical appearance. But what people often forget is that eating disorder behaviors can have drastic mental and physical consequences on individuals who show no physical signs of an eating disorder. Many people with eating disorder behaviors appear to meet our societal standard of healthy or may even be considered overweight. Eating disorder behaviors are considered characteristics of mental illnesses, and should never be determined based on someone’s weight.

The Misconceptions

It the misconceptions and stigmas that are contributing to the lack of understanding about what eating disorder behaviors are. The myth that you can tell someone has an eating disorder based on their appearance can be detrimental to those who don’t fit that stereotypical mold. Individuals with eating disorder behaviors may not seek treatment, receive support, or could remain in denial about their illness because they think there is a specific “look” for having an eating disorder. Eating disorders can appear in people of all sizes. Our society frequently considers skinny individuals who compulsively exercise and have restrictive behaviors to be sick. Yet, when an overweight person does the same they are encouraged for working on their physical well-being. Eating disorder behaviors can be deadly, but with the right treatment options people can gain the support and recovery they need.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles disordered eating, please call 828-484-9946!