Why is the increase in eating and body image disorders in boys a source of concern according to "Body-Image Pressure Increasingly Affects Boys" by Jamie Santa Cruz?
Jamie Santa Cruz’s article quotes Dr. Alison Field, associate professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and lead author of a study on boys' body image, who says:
You want people to be concerned enough about their weight to make healthy decisions, but not so concerned that they’re willing to take whatever means it takes—healthy or unhealthy—to achieve their desired physique.
The evidence of the study, however, was that the 18% of boys who were highly concerned about their weight and physique often responded with unhealthy behaviors such as binge-drinking and drug-taking. They were also at greater risk of depression.
Gaining muscle is often just as important to boys as losing fat. The media, having put pressure on women to have the perfect body for a long time, has now begun to do the same to men by presenting as normal a body type which only 1% or 2% of men have. This has led to excessive use of muscle-enhancing drugs among boys, with 6% admitting to taking steroids in a 2012 study. Eating disorders are also much higher than previously believed among boys, with an occurrence of around one in four.
The essential message of the article is that poor body image and eating disorders affect an increasingly high proportion of boys and that this has led to various types of unhealthy behavior and depression (article attached).
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