When Having a Good Imagination is Bad: Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorders
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Despite recent movements advertising body positivity and self-love, eating disorders are on the rise. It has been found that eating disorders especially affect young adults, and tend to develop in women much more than men. Disordered eating is the cause of a myriad of health problems, including loss of bone and muscle mass, stomach ulcers, hair loss, and fatigue. Sufferers of eating disorders are tenfold more likely to die than their peers due to complications. Currently, research has linked the causes of body dysmorphia to an increased risk of developing eating disorders. Socialization is a major factor in the development of body dysmorphia and body dissatisfaction, and media consumption is an influential form of socialization for younger generations. Because of the vast influence that media consumption has on body perception, media outlets should expand representation of body types and consumers should expand their exposure to various body types to promote lifestyle choices that represent healthy individuals, regardless of body shape.