|A Mania For Thinness
A number of outside influences have misled us to believe that anyone can look like the men and women in fashion ads and on beer commercials, regardless of what our heredity dictates. Even worse, some of us have come to think that if we don't look like these "perfect people" there is something wrong with us.
It hasn't always been this way. Respected men and women, even sex symbols of the past, looked much different from the models and movie stars of today. Just one generation later, Marilyn Monroe would be considered overweight.
A recent study shows that today's Playboy Centerfolds, Miss America contestants and the vast majority of fashion models are 13-20% below expected, normal, health weight for their age and height.
The worst effects of this mania for thinness may be the effect on children. When adults express their frustration, in front of their children, with their weight the children acquire a fear of fat that is reinforced by the many dieting adults that surround them in daily life.
A recent study of fourth graders showed that more than 60% wished they were thinner and worried about getting fat. More than 80% admitted they had avoided foods they thought would make them fat. Forty percent reported they had dieted to lose weight.
The nine and ten year old children reported an immediate family member diets and 3 our of 4 have a family member that worries about being fat.
High school and college students are even more obsessed with thinness. More than three fourth of the girls and half the boys diet. Eating disorders have risen to one in eight students, most of them girls.
What can we do? How can we change this unhealthy image to be thin. We can begin with SMART WEIGH TO GO--the weight management program with realistic goals for health and fitness, not some magic number on a scale.
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