Body image and related eating disorders can have profound effects on individuals, families and society at large. How we perceive ourselves and our bodies predisposes us to how we interact with the world at large, including those closest to us.
The current ethos of our society, reaffirmed by mass media, is towards thin, youthful, attractive bodies and faces. The shapes and features are idealized, set to a very thin formula most well defined to that of a fashion model. (Yu, 2011)
Achieving this idealized body type, for many, if not most, is next to impossible. As a result, for those who struggle to be thin, and who are left feeling marginalized, the effects can be life changing. Individuals can resort to a number of eating disorders, maladaptive behaviors, and self-destructive habits. (Rohde, 2015)
For youth, the pursuit of these societal self image expectations can have dire health consequences and adverse effects on family dynamics.
The physical consequences of advanced eating disorders can result in malnutrition, inflamed esophagus, heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, some types of cancer, dental issues, weakened bones, and even death in extreme cases. But for most, the physical effects are graduated. There is a slow deterioration of the body