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Eating Disorders

  • By: Eileen Berlin Ray
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

It is so normal for American females to be unhappy with their weight that psychologists have coined the term normative discontent. This is not surprising given the pervasiveness of messages that result in this dissatisfaction from an early age. The statistics are sobering. One study found almost half of the 6-year-olds surveyed were worried about their weight; another found over 40 percent of girls 6 to 8 years old wanted to be thinner; while still another reported over 80 percent of the 10-year-olds surveyed were afraid of being fat. Older women and males are not immune. According to a survey of middle-age women, 50 percent said what they would most like to change about their lives was to lose weight, while males may be more ...

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