This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Module 2 --- Article 1 OF NOTE Among adolescent girls, frequent reading of women’s health and fitness magazines is associated with the use of unhealthy weight-control practices and higher levels of eating-disordered cognitions. A survey of 498 females, ages 15 to 18, was conducted at 2 suburban, predominantly white, middle-class high schools. Moderate to strong correlations were found between engaging in unhealthy weight-control practices and frequent reading of women’s health and fitness magazines. Also, adolescents who reported being frequent readers of the magazines were more likely (than moderate or infrequent readers) to report eating-disordered cognitions (ie, rigid weight and eating regulation, the belief that weight and eating are tied to social approval and acceptance, and an excessive, if not compulsive, drive for self-control). The authors note that because the data are correlational, causation cannot be concluded. However, they comment that “these findings are consistent with the growing belief that women’s health and fitness magazines may be an important sociocultural influence in the development and/or perpetuation of eating-disordered attitudes and weight-control behaviors.” The authors cite content analyses of these magazines that conclude that the messages in these magazines “support, and even encourage, the perception that female happiness and success is tied to physical appearance, with ultra-thinness being the hallmark of beauty,” and that articles on nutrition and fitness emphasize “weight loss and physical attractiveness over general health issues.” The authors recommend that health educators and school counselors (1) help female adolescents formulate realistic fitness and weight goals, (2) talk openly with young women about the dangers and risks of unhealthy dietary and weight-control methods, and (3) incorporate “media literacy” into health curricula that enables “students to become critical reviewers of the diet-related articles, photographs, and advertisements in these magazines.”
Note: In the entire sample, the following unhealthy weight-control practices (eating-disordered behaviors) were reported as being used over the past year for the purpose of weight loss or control: use of laxatives (10.9% of the adolescents), use of appetite suppressants/weight-control pills (14.7%), self-induced vomiting (8.6%), and restriction of daily caloric intake to fewer than 1200 calories per day (52%). Thomsen SR, Weber MM, & Brown LB. The relationship between health and fitness magazine reading and eating-disordered weight-loss methods among high school girls. American Journal of Health Education, 32:133-138, 2001. ©Copyright 2011 MWK Publishing LLC; from The Complete Practitioner: Mental Health Applications (Vol. 4, No. 8 -- August 2001) For next article, go to next page. ...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/10/2011 for the course PCO 4930 taught by Professor Neimeyer during the Spring '09 term at University of Florida.
- Spring '09