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Girls face eating disorders

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 04 2013 07:57:31 AM CST
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 10:57:02 AM CST

Eating disorders

Studies show as many as 10 percent of girls and young women have some kind of eating disorder.

Why do so many girls struggle with this issue?

Doctors say eating disorders are complicated. But they are also quick to point out that society may have a lot to do with it.

They say because young girls are bombarded with images of the perfect body, it can be difficult for them to accept their own bodies as they are.

Arielle Bair, 28, is a busy graduate school who volunteers, runs a support group and interns at a hospice center. But she still finds time to manage her own website dedicated to eating disorder issues.

"If someone is out there struggling or they know someone who is struggling, there is hope. Recovery can be achieved," Arielle says.

Arielle is positive, successful and beautiful but she didn't always feel that way. Her own eating disorder began when she was only 11 years old.

According to Arielle, " It was about control because everything in my life seemed out of control and I thought I can control what I"m eating."

Dr.Madeleine Langman practices in Allentown and specializes in helping people with eating disorders and body image problems. Dr. Langman says, "I think there are a lot of pressures. We can think of spheres of influences , peers, family society media."

Mental health specialists say a distorted body image is one of the leading causes of eating disorders in young women. They see the images in the media, watch their own mothers dieting and they just don't think they're good enough.

"There are very narrow expectations of what's beautiful. Kids, from the time they're very young watching Disney movies, cartoons, the princesses, they're all beautiful. They're all thin," says Langman. S

he says we should talk to our daughters about these images and help them to understand messages in the media.