Posted by: kierstin1220 | March 25, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

We look into it every day and most of the time don’t even realize the damage it’s causing us.

A study has shown that high school aged girls who look at themselves in the mirror picture themselves to be 11 pounds heavier than they acutally are, according to Michael Peterson’s, Ed.D., article Teens’ Distorted Body Image May Lead to Unhealthy Behaviors.

On average, the girls in Peterson’s study perceived themselves as heavier than they really were but wanted to be thinner. They saw themselves as weighing 141 pounds (assuming a height of 5 feet 5 inches), more than their self-reported actual average weight of 133 pounds and even more than their desired weight of 130 pounds. This meant that while they were only three pounds over their ideal weight, they saw themselves as much heavier — 11 pounds above their ideal.

Since girls possess the desire to be thinner than they perceive themselves they are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to keep themselves thin.

Here’s a video about the extreme methods teens use in attempt to achieve what in their eyes is perfection.

Some startling facts from the National Eating Disorders Association

  1. 42 percent of elementary school students between the first and third grades want to be thinner
  2. 80 percent of children who are ten years old are afraid of being fat
  3. Approximately 7 million girls and women struggle with eating disorders
  4. 80 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance
  5. 51 percent of 9 and 10 year old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet

Here’s a longer video about the pressure young girls feel to be thin.


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