The August 2000 issue of Good Housekeeping includes an article on the
growing concerns with eating disorders among teenage males. A thank you is
extended to Sonya Meyer, associate professor with the Department of Family and
Consumer Sciences at the University of Wyoming, for sharing the article.
- A historical look at G.I. Joe gives insight into the shifting standard of
the ideal male body type. In 1964, G.I. Joe looked like a trim, regular guy.
By the mid-1970's, G.I. Joe was more muscular. Fast forward to 1992 and G.I
Joe was even more muscular and now leaner. He had rippled muscles and the
"six-pack" of perfectly sculpted abdominal muscles.
- The eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia have traditionally been
considered female problems, but more and more young men are now diagnosed.
The estimate of 1 in 10 sufferers of eating disorders being male is now
believed to be closer to 1 in 6 by some researchers.
- Although females have long been influenced by unrealistic images (Barbie
dolls, beauty pageant queens, female models), physical standards are now
becoming just as unrealistic and impossible for males as they are for
- Parents need to make it clear to their children people come in all sizes
and shapes. By age six, both boys and girls know the cultural value of
thinness. Children entering grade school have a general sense that fat
people are bad or less worthy. The unfairness associated with large body
types is established at a very young age.
- The article offers advice to parents concerned about eating disorders and
their children. The advice is offered by Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical
psychologist with the Harvard Eating Disorders Center in Boston, and Laura
Goodman, author of the book Is Your Child Dying to Be Thin?
- Avoid passing your food anxieties on to your kids. Before you complain
about the fat in salad dressing and the calories in your favorite dessert,
remember your kids are listening.
- Dont use food to comfort your child. Avoid offering ice cream when
your child skins a knee. "Food can make you feel better" is a
- Dont put your child on a diet. If your child is overweight, discover
fun ways for your child to spend more time being active rather than
Source: Pappano L. Every day I would eat less and
less. Good Housekeeping. August 2000, pp. 116, 119, 200.
Compiled by Betty Holmes,
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