Eating Disorder in Adolescent Girls

Category: Science
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The cultural syndrome that has been adopted for this critical thinking paper is Anorexia Nervosa. The scholar has chosen to talk about this mental disease because it affects many people all over the world, it affects both genders and people of all ages groups. The scholar has driven her focus to a specific group which is adolescent girls. The scholar chose to focus on this particular group because adolescent girls are the largest group of people that are affected by this mental illness. This particular disorder is predominant in the US and affects many young lives that often ends in suicide.

Anorexia nervosa is the most common form of mental illness, it affects many young lives all over the world which is why the scholar chose to collaborate more on this subject. There are many things that correlate with anorexia nervosa and what the scholar would like to focus on is primarily the relationship between anorexia nervosa and adolescent girls as well as the impact the media has to do with this. There are many things that have led to the development of this syndrome and what has led it to become the most common form of mental illness. Since the beginning of time women have always been expected to look and act a certain way, in other words there have always been standards that were set by society.

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Although, over time those appearances and standards have changed they have always been there. For a very long time now what the culture says is a “beautiful” woman is a: tall, thin, light skin, light hair, light eyes. Most of what was listed has to do with genetics, so there’s not much that can be done to fit the image if one does not already possess it. However, there is one that a woman does have control over, and that is weight. Although, it has to do little with genetics as well, it can be changed to however thin or thick a woman wants to be. The scholar would like to point out that it is a lot easier to gain weight than to lose weight.

Continuing on that note, exercising and dieting are more often than not a very slow process and it takes a lot of commitment. Dieting is often confused with eating less and consequently starving, and then leads to has been come to be known anorexia nervosa. Nonetheless, anorexia has grown and become a bigger problem because a culture was made, in which to be pretty one must be skinny. It has grown because in the modern age that the world has come to information is more easily accessible and technology is everywhere. Day and night, all over the world everyone is surrounded by technology and billboards, commercials, magazines etc and all those areas everyday images of what a beautiful woman is are shown, and every single time they are thin.

So, as a young girl looking at an image of a model knowing that she is beautiful, the girl then starts to believe that if she too wants to be beautiful she has to be skinny like the model in the picture. The scholar is specifying that the media has to do a lot with the problem. The population is exposed to media every day in all types of form from social media to the news they are all types of media. The media affects the way the population think or tries to drive their thinking a certain way. The scholar has chosen to drive her focus to the relationship the media has. For the purpose of writing this critical thinking essay the author will be analyzing these two empirical articles. The first empirical article is Syed-Abdul (2013) and the second article is Hardin (2003). These two empirical articles will be used to show the relationship anorexia nervosa has with media outlets and how the media reinforces anorexic behavior onto young adolescent girls.

Review of literature

In the article by the researcher Syed-Abdul (2013) they reported the effects that a media outlet, such as Youtube a popular video site where many pro-anorexia videos have been found promoting anorexia nervosa as a positive lifestyle. The studied focused on Youtube as the media outlet, through Youtube they were able to find their results. The study was conducted in October 2011, so that was when they went through the Youtube content to find the videos about anorexia nervosa. They were able to do this using keywords to locate the videos.

They came up a total of 140 videos about anorexia nervosa, but lowered the number to the top 40 videos that came up to a total of 61.13 million views and 11 hours of content according the the author Eysenbach (2018). What they did to conduct the study makes it seem more of a observational study versus a experimental study. This is because they did not have a independent nor did it have a dependent variable in the experiment. The information was gathered all in one day and the videos chosen were the most viewed. The content needed for the study was gathered in all one day, the results of the content revealed some frightening information about the type of anorexia nervosa videos that were posted on Youtube.

The scholar would like to point out at that the reason why it is frightening is because it is important to remember that these videos were the most viewed videos. From the 40 videos that produced the 61.13 million view, half of them were pro-anorexia nervosa and the other half were informative videos. Pro-anorexia refers to videos that promote anorexia nervosa, and instead of referring to it as the mental illness that it is they call it a lifestyle. In those types of videos besides calling it a lifestyle, they gave tips to the viewers tips and advice on how to live life following that lifestyle. The other videos, the informative videos explained the health consequences and issues that are caused by the diseases and made it very clear that anorexia nervosa is a eating disorder not a good eating habit.

As well as giving suggestions on what to improve ones eating habits. The author also revealed that most of the viewers were adolescent girls. The conclusion of the study is that the pro-anorexia videos had more views than the informative videos, despite their overall being more informative videos than pro-anorexia. However, this study could have been a lot stronger if other platforms had been included instead of just using Youtube. Also collecting more content rather than content from one day because new content is always being added on such a big platform like Youtube.

In the article by the researcher Hardin (2003) the main purpose of it was too show the relationship the media has with anorexia nervosa, as well as the normalization of it through media. Hardin conducted a series of interviews in which she asked adolescent girls questions about the mental illness, whom had been diagnosed themselves. Gathering information on how the media, and other forms encourage anorexia and how those outlets normalize the mental illness. It even goes farther and asks how medicine might increases the number of anoretix individuals. As well as retrieving information from online accounts to get more data.

Specific questions were asked to answer that tend to put women in a position of being categorized as anoretix and then continuing by seeing how the womens behaviors were affected. The results showed that the advancement in technology that has taken place for the last two decades has led to an increase in web pages that promote anorexia nervosa that have become to be known as pro-anorexia sites. As well as discovering that many young adolescent girls want to be anorexic because they want to do be skinny. The came to the conclusion that media and other outlets have normalized anorexia nervosa as something”normal” that just happens. As forms of educating the public of anorexia nervosa came out, it was switched to forms of marketing and promoting the diseases to the public.

The same thing can be said about how medicine increase anorexia because as it promotes what to avoid or what good habits to build, it is often switched and used for the opposite purpose. However, the study does have weaknesses, for example, what is considered to be a person that has anorexia nervosa and a person that just has the mentality. This could have been easily distinguished by having an evaluation of the individual. As well as providing specific example of what was being discussed in the article. Specifically when the author spoke how media normalizes anorexia, could have gone further by giving an example of it.


The empirical articles that were used by the scholar, has helped the scholar explain the relationship between anorexia nervosa in adolescent girls and the media. The scholar stated that media has had an effect on anorexia nervosa in adolescent girls. As a reminder, in the first article by Syed-Abdul (2013) the video cite known as Youtube is a platform where many pro-anorexia videos can be found promoting the eating disorder. Although those are not the only type of videos that are posted on the matter, those are the videos that get the most positive response from its viewers. It was found as predicted by the scholar that most of the viewers of those type of videos are girls between the ages 13-17.

The second empirical article that the scholar chose also builds on the idea of the relationship that the media has with anorexia nervosa in adolescent girls. As well as including other outlets like how even medicine has an impact, and even takes it a step further in its study because it shows how all of those forms have led to the normalization of the mental illness. Both articles strengthen the scholar thesis which is the effects that media outlets has had on adolescent girl and anorexia nervosa.


From this assignment the scholar gained a great amount of new knowledge on the subject of anorexia nervosa in adolescent girls and its connection to media. The scholar also learned that many times despite efforts there is more content in big platforms that get a lot of support despite it being such a negative subject. As well as the shocking discovery that anorexia nervosa has become normalized in the society that we are in. Through these discoveres the scholar believes that just showing the public the extremely negative aspects of anorexia nervosa in efforts to discourage anorexic behavior, that way stop “promoting” the disease.

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Eating Disorder in Adolescent Girls. (2021, Nov 21). Retrieved from

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