A headline in August 12's USA Today caught my attention- Women: Staying Skinny Beats Sex. The first line of the article, written by Nanci Hellmich, reads, "For many women, weight control is more important than sex." The stats that back that up? Out of 1001 adults, 52% of women say they would prefer to go without sex for the summer than gain 10 pounds. Even more, according to this same research, more people would rather lose 10-20 pounds than receive a promotion at work!! That is crazy and sad but is a realistic indicator of what the majority of people in our culture value. [As a disclaimer, after hunting around to find out where these statistics came from, I found the answer to be a little self-serving--Nutrisystem!! For those of you who don't know, Nutrisystem is a diet company that is a contender in the billion dollar dieting industry in our country!]
Does anyone else see this drive for thinness as a problem? Why does being thin supercede other values in life, like career and love?! And why aren't we doing more to work on changing the unhealthy notions and beliefs about our weight and bodies? Why are magazines and media outlets making irresponsible comments and perpetuating eating disorder myths (check out one response to W Magazine here)? More education and awareness needs to be happening, and fast!! You can start today by educating yourself about eating disorders- the facts and the myths- by going to NEDA's website for more information! It is important to note that the media does not cause eating disorders. The media can pose a risk to someone who is genetically determined to develop an eating disorder, but it is not one thing that typically causes them. I would encourage you to think about what else can you do today to educate yourself (and others) and then raise awareness.. I would love to hear your ideas- you can post a comment or send me an email if you have any ideas!