Lacking a healthy body image, many women feel so much pressure to attain the carefully crafted, yet unrealistic image that weight has become a national obsession and weight loss a major, extremely profitable industry. According to Jonathan Dahl’s Smart Money article, 10 Things the Weight-Loss Industry Won’t Say, “Figures available from the American Dietetic Association show Americans spending $58 billion on weight loss cures and products in 2007.”
Problems are especially acute among adolescent females as they confront for the first time the unattainable goal of measuring up to the popular images of perfection while coping with the genetic realities of their changing bodies. Few women remain unaffected. Many suffer from chronic, dangerous eating disorders, desperate to become “thin enough.” For others overeating is a common coping mechanism used in an attempt to minimize painful feelings that resonate from negative self image.
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