Eating Disorders and the Role of Media Essay

Article Critique

Summary of Article

Media plays a critical role in eating disorders, as examined by different scholars. In the article "Eating Disorders and the Role of Media," Spettigue and Henderson investigate the role of media and its effects on eating disorders. In the article, the authors use the case study method, whereby they use these findings to develop informed conclusions. Each detail that has been borrowed from an outside source has been well-cited, giving the reader a hint of where to find more information if the need arises Eating Disorders and the Role of Media Essay .An in-depth investigation has been conducted concerning the role of media where Spettigue and Henderson define the four main roles that media plays while addressing eating disorders. Spettigue and Henderson (2) identify four leading points in which they summarize eating disarrays and the position of media.

According to Spettigue and Henderson (2), the first point is "the role of media in providing a social context for eating disorders." Here, the authors investigate multiple case studies by reputable authors and suggest that an increased need for thinness, especially among women, has been advanced by media such as magazines, TV shows, as well as advertisements. Media plays a significant role in body dissatisfaction and increases eating disorders among little girls and women. Women’s magazines have been examined and found to have at least 10.5 times multiple diet promotions when compared to men’s magazines (Spettigue and Henderson, 3). In summarizing this point, Spettigue and Henderson argue that the media glorifies the slender ideal and stress the importance of having a slender body for general appearance Eating Disorders and the Role of Media Essay. While emphasizing the need for slenderness, the media promote beauty as well as appearance through slenderness. In one of the surveys that Spettigue and Henderson integrate into their research, they allude that aged girls between 11 and 17 years, while asked what they would wish for when granted three wishes, said they would wish for weight loss always to keep it off. Also, middle-aged women, while asking what they ought to alter in their subsists, suggested they would want to change their weight by shedding it off.

The second point addressed by Spettigue and Henderson is "the role of the media in the etiology of eating disorders" (Spettigue and Henderson, 4). At this point, the authors note that the media have been a significant contributor to the advancement of eating disorders. Most women and girls with eating disorders have resulted in lifestyle changes because of the content presented to them via the media. The media stresses beauty as a slender aspect giving people the challenge of achieving a body goal that is impossible to attain both in the short-run and long-run. Spettigue and Henderson (5) conclude this point by suggesting eating disorders have been advanced by the media because it causes body dissatisfaction among individuals.

Spettigue and Henderson (6) identify their third point as "the role of the media in the maintenance of eating disorders." The media emphasize the need to shed weight, and people often develop a tendency to compare themselves socially. Because people have a specific body goal, they will rely on the media, which will show them the healthy way to live is to be slender. Beauty magazines have contributed substantially to eating disorders because of how they advance build body dissatisfaction thoughts among media viewers Eating Disorders and the Role of Media Essay.

On the fourth point, "The role of the media in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders," Spettigue and Henderson (7) argue that media literacy, advocacy, as well as activism can help in the treatment of eating disorders. Media literacy helps individuals decode visual images presented to them through the media and develop valid conclusions that not all images or messages in the media are a reality. According to Spettigue and Henderson (2004), media literacy stipulates that every media is a creation that is well researched and created for profit-making purposes.

Review of Content

The information provided by Spettigue and Henderson coincides with the text and lectures. The media has been at the center of eating disorders and has been promoting it more than informing people of the adverse effects of eating disorders and how to address them. The media have been promoting eating disorders by linking beauty to thinness. Many fashion magazines have women who are thin enough, and TV shows have their actors thin. This leaves women with a lot of pressure as they strive to lead beautiful lives. Eventually, people become slaves to what is portrayed by the media without understanding that it is all for the show, and those should not be their life goals.

People often compare what they see in the media in their lives. What they failed to realize at the time is that whatever is shown on the media is driven by the need to make profits. Slenderness does not necessarily mean a person is beautiful, and the person who has gained weight is ugly. The media, more like technology, leans to one side, focusing on slenderness leaving behind the other reality part where people eat and gain weight from time to time. Since people are so much invested in different media types, such as reading magazines and watching television shows, they end up picking what they see, which promotes eating disorders since individuals will begin starving themselves all in need to be like those individuals they see on the media.

The article concerning the role of media and how it affects eating disorders is in line with the text’s content because both agree the media has been contributing to the advancement of eating disorders. Both also agree that the majority of those affected are those parties heavily invested in different media platforms and the women because of the emphasis placed on slenderness. However, this does not mean men are not affected because the media also has the way it portrays men forcing the public to develop eating disorders. The main agreement between the report and the lecture is media affects eating disorders Eating Disorders and the Role of Media Essay .Furthermore, the text and research report by Spettigue and Henderson reports that the media can also contribute to decreasing eating disorders by advocacy and activism. The main indifference is the use of media literacy as a tool to decrease eating disorders. This aspect is emphasized in the report by Spettigue and Henderson as a way to decode the images presented to the audience as unreal and profit-driven.


The information presented in the article offers accurate communication that helps individuals that serve people with disabilities. To make it easier for the reader to understand this article’s content, Spettigue and Henderson have divided their report into sections from the introduction to the body that contains the four principal points and the conclusion. The four points focus on how the media impact eating disorders. Spettigue and Henderson (2004) provide sufficient information at each point by reviewing various articles and develop sufficient conclusions for educators to use when dealing with people with disabilities. Each party that deals with individuals with a disability are given an opportunity to understand how media contributes to their patient’s eating disorders. Based on this information, educators and health-related officials can identify and deice ways to help people with disabilities by understanding what they see in the media is not necessarily a reality. Most people with eating disorders are usually girls and women, and the source of their eating disorders is the media they use, such as fashion magazines and television shows that all share the same thing; their emphasis on slenderness causing body dissatisfaction.

Accurate communication is offered concerning how the media affects the treatment and prevention of eating disorders. Although the media is a significant contributor to eating disorders, the media can also be used to advance prevention measures through media literacy and advocacy. Educators can use this information to help those with disabilities and their students at large concerning media literacy. They can equip them with media literacy skills that aid them to decode not only the images, but also messages presented to them by the media to gain a better understanding. If educators train students and those with disabilities to decode media messages, eating disorders would decrease since people do not rely on what the media says since they understand the images are profit-driven Eating Disorders and the Role of Media Essay.

The public can use the information in this article. This is an informative article that addresses the challenge of eating disorders and shows how the media contributes to this problem. For instance, Spettigue and Henderson have provided a section where they discuss how the media advances and contributes to eating disorders. Additionally, they also provide an etiology of eating disorders and how the media contributes to the same. Such information can help the public understand that the media affects them in their daily choices, which can make better-informed decisions concerning their lives. Those others in public who offer their services to persons with disabilities can use this information to comprehend the etiology of their patient’s eating disorder and develop strategies to help them accordingly.

Reading through the article, a reader can identify the main characteristics that make the article’s communication useful, such as simplicity, clarity, and brevity. Evidence of simplicity in the article is identified through the language used. The authors make sure they use nontechnical words to help educators, health-related professionals, and the public dealing with persons with disabilities understand how the media contributes to the problem and the measures that can be developed for eating disorders. Clarity is evident in how straightforward Spettigue and Henderson are when writing this research. All the required steps have been followed, and the research article is organized in a way that any reader can identify the main points without struggling. Brevity dictates that a report shall not be unnecessarily long but also shall be complete with all intended ideas presented for the target audience to read and understand. Long reports have a higher probability of resulting in confusion. Nonetheless, the article by Spettigue and Henderson is concise and complete with all the intended points provided. Therefore, the information presented offers accurate communication Eating Disorders and the Role of Media Essay.

Works Cited

Spettigue, Wendy, and Katherine A. Henderson. "Eating disorders and the role of the media." The Canadian child and adolescent psychiatry review 13.1 (2004): 16.