February 28, 2012

February 3, 2012

Miss Representation Aims to End Sexism in the Media and Empower Women

Sponsored by Eating Disorder Treatment Centers: 
A New Journey, Rosewood, and Montecatini
Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

Miss Representation first premiered in the documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival where it caught the eye of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. It made its television debut as part of the OWN documentary film club in October 2011, with over 1.3 million people tuning in to its multiple airings. Additional screenings with corporations, non-profits, religious groups, government organizations and communities are happening every day all over the world.

Local Screening:  There will be a free screening of Miss Representation on February 29th, 2012 at UCSD’s Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club in San Diego.  The event begins at 6:30 pm and movie will begin promptly at 6:50 pm.  For ticket information please send an email to iaedpsd@gmail.com.  For location information please visit website: http://facclub.ucsd.edu/mod_AboutUs/Directions. Parking is $4.  After the screening, there will be panel discussion with Gurze Books owner Leigh Cohn, psychologist, Dr, Divya Kakaiya, and pediatrician, Dr. Christine Wood.

February 2, 2012

Dieting: The Path to an Eating Disorder

  When parents are first in the grip of their child’s eating disorder, they tend to ask, “how did this happen?” Parents want to know; why their little girl? There are several important factors that contribute to an eating disorder. Genetics, family dynamics, personality traits, life experiences, and media influences can all combine to set someone up for an eating disorder. However, even with all these factors present, someone may still go through life without an eating disorder. What sets the eating disorder off then? Dieting. Dieting starts the rolling snowball of weight loss that turns into the avalanche of an eating disorder. 
  Dieting is any attempt to lose weight.  Generally, dieting begins when someone develops dissatisfaction with his or her natural body.  The person than decides to actively change his or her body weight or shape. Many dieters seek rapid weight loss without having to make major changes in their lifestyle. The dieter denies the body essential, well-balanced nutrients and calories in exchange for dieting products and counting calories. 
  According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA, 2005) Americans spend more than $50 billion dollars a year on dieting and diet-related products. Half of American women are trying to lose weight at any point in time (NEDA, 2005). Additionally, researchers estimate that 40% to 60% of high school girls are on diets (Sardula et al., 1993; Rosen & Gross, 1987) while 42% of 1st to 3rd grade girls surveyed reported wanting to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
  Dieting is a very dangerous game to play; hunger cues are ignored, the body can become malnourished and be forced into starvation mode, mood can significantly change and lead someone to depression, an anxiety disorder, low self-esteem or increased stress. Focusing on weight-loss takes the joy out of eating and leads one to a chronic feeling of hunger and emptiness.  Dieting can also lead to an obsession with food and weight and eventually start an eating disorder (Isomaa et al., 2010; Johnson, 1984). After years of failed dieting attempts, dieters may take more extreme measures for weight loss such as fad diets, diet pills or even weight-loss surgeries such as the lap-band. 

  What is even more astounding than all the dangers, is that dieting rarely works and people still take the risk! Only 5% of dieters keep the weight off for a year, while 95% of all dieters regain their lost weight and more within one to five years (NEDA, 2005).  So, why do the majority of Americans diet when the odds are stacked against them? Why do so many risk their health, their happiness, and their life for a diet that only has a 5% chance of working? The answer is the dieting snare.
  Many people fall into the dieting snare due to the allure and promises of weight-loss advertising. Advertisements consistently claim faster weight loss with better long-term results.  They market acceptance, beauty, success, and happiness. A susceptible dieter begins to think, “this is the one, this is the diet that will work, this diet will be different.”  The diet snare keeps people consumed by the idea that they will only be accepted by others if they are always on a diet and trying to look better.  Anytime someone wants to escape from the diet snare there is a diet product or advertisement to pull them back.
  Dieting advertisements have drastically increased over the years. Between 1992 and 2001, weight-loss advertisements in magazines increased by 129% (Cleland et al., 2002). The mean number of diet articles increased from 17.1 to 29.6 (Cleland et al., 2002).  Americans are inundated with weight-loss products, advertisements, before and after photos of diets, and billboards claiming surgery is the answer for their problems.
  Dieting offers the illusion of control and success.  In reality people do not lose the weight, they lose interest in things that used to bring them pleasure, they lose their ability to concentrate and think clearly, and they lose focus of what is really important in their life. Dieting really only helps someone gain both weight and an obsession with food. Dieting helps someone gain an eating disorder.
An eating disorder is a severe, biologically based mental illness according to the Academy for Eating Disorders (Klump, Bulik, Kaye, Treasure, & Tyson, 2009).
  Emerging science affirms that eating disorders significantly impair cognitive functioning, judgment, and emotional stability (Klump et al., 2009). After being diagnosed with an eating disorder, individuals must go through extensive treatment for several years.  Knowing that an eating disorder could be just around the corner, people still choose to diet.   
  Fortunately, dieting does not have to be the answer anymore. Dieting behaviors can be prevented and replaced with healthy choices. NEDA (2005) offers effectives ways to prevent dieting, the drive for thinness, and body dissatisfaction.

-Examine your own attitudes, beliefs, prejudices, and behaviors about food, weight, body image, physical appearance, health, and exercise.
-Replace extreme eating and exercise habits with more moderate ones.
-Encourage balanced eating of a variety of foods in moderation.
-Allow all foods in your home.
-Become a critical consumer of the media-pay attention to and openly challenge media messages. 
-Develop a value system based on internal values.
-Do not use food as a reward or punishments. It sets food up as a potential weapon of control.
-Do not equate food with positive or negative behavior. 

Most importantly, love your body! Body acceptance stops the cycle that begins with body dissatisfaction, leading to dieting, and finally an eating disorder. Start a new cycle beginning with body acceptance, healthy self-esteem, and healthy choices!

Cleland, R. L., Gross, W. C., Koss, L. D., Daynard, M., & Muoio, K. M. (2002). Weight
Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends. A report of the Staff of the
Federal Trade Commission. Available at:
http:// www.ftc.gov/bcp/reports/weightloss.pdf, accessed on 22 October, 2010.
Collins, M. E. (1991). Body figure perceptions and preferences among preadolescent
children. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 10, 100-108.
Isomaa, R., Isomaa, A., Marttunen, M., Riittakerttu, K., & Björkqvist, K. (2010).
Psychological distress and risk for eating disorders in subgroups of dieters.
European Eating Disorders Review, 18, 296-303.
Johnson, C. (1984). Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 13, 15-26.
Klump, K. L., Bulik, C. M., Kaye, W. H., Treasure, J., & Tyson, E. (2009). Academy for
eating disorders position paper: Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. The
International Journal of Eating Disorders, 42, 97-103.
National Eating Disorder Association. (2005). http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.
Rosen, J.C. & Gross, J. (1987). Prevalence of weight reducing and weight gaining in
adolescent boys and girls. Health Psychology, 6, 131-147. 
Sardula, et al. (1993). Weight control practices of U.S. adolescents and adults. Annals of
Internal Medicine, 119, 667.