It’s the time of year again. New Year, new me and “actors” appear determined to make their money out of diet supplements and’belly-blasting DVDs’ but are they fuelling eating disorders in teens? As social media enables fans to become closer to their idols the existence of media and body image is almost impossible to escape.
The new idols of teens are the stars of reality shows like Geordie Shore and Made in Chelsea and using social media allows young women (and boys) to adhere to all aspects of their life; by their wardrobe to their own eating habits. A continuous daily reminder on social websites that another TOWIE celebrity has dropped 2 dress sizes and is happier than ever through a new dieting strategy, or pictures of what diet supplements”Vicky Pattison” is replacing her meal with.
During your teens your body is undergoing many changes during puberty and whilst in this important transition period it’s imperative to intake the ideal nutrients so as to develop. Eating disorders may result in being underweight at this important stage of your life and might result in a lack of energy, nutrient deficiencies, a weakened immune system, delayed periods and harm to future fertility.
Let’s understand it
As a last suffer of anorexia/bulimia nervosa I know what a difference media may have to a young woman’s eating habits. I suffered mostly around age 13, I used to go through phases of hungry myself before binge-eating and making myself vomit. Undertaking in a great deal of exercise also kept my weight but I also used this as an excuse for my lanky look. My eating disorder was driven by the continuous images that I started to see of the ideal bikini body around the front of publications along with my lack of self-esteem.
Luckily I was able to battle the status by myself about a year and it was not until a year or two later I came to the realisation that I’d suffered from an eating disorder. Now aged 20, considered”normal weight” in 59kg I’m trying to tone up and lose a little weight but now through eating my 5 a day, substituting snacks with lower calorie alternatives and exercising regularly.
By seeing celebrities losing considerable amounts of weight in only months I can not help wondering if this boosts intense and frequently short-term solutions to weight loss. A worrying idea considering the teens that avidly follow these celebrities. Instead the promotion of a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise is critical. The fundamentals of healthy eating should be upheld; especially eating five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, the importance of breakfast and highlighting foods around starchy carbohydrates. In addition to this joining a team sport can help teens lead an active healthy lifestyle in addition to increasing social interaction and developing personal skills.