Media Now Targeting Young Men

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
September/October 2001 Volume 12, Number 5
©2001 Gürze Books

The same types of advertising that women have been exposed to for many years, including impossibly thin, perfect models and magical diets, are now being aimed at young men, according to Drs. Divya Kakaiya of Healthy Within, Inc., San Diego, and Mohey Mowafy, of Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI. Already, American men spend $2 billion per year on commercial gym memberships and more than $2 billion on home exercise equipment. The media messages for men promise greater popularity and sexual attractiveness, along with a trim, muscular body. As a result, body dissatisfaction is increasing and appearing in ever-younger boys. This trend increases the risk of eating disorders, particularly body dysmorphic disorder. People with body dysmorphic disorder become preoccupied with an imagined defect in their appearance, which seriously disrupts with their family life and work. Early education about the dangers of steroids and extreme dieting may be one way to counteract this trend. The clinicians presented their session at the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) meeting, August 10-13, in San Diego.

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