Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Families, media and education crucial in preventing eating disorders


The process of educating young people on the prevention of eating disorders needs to start as early as middle-school, emphasizes Danny J. Ballard, a Texas A&M University health education professor.

Ballard, who specializes in women’s health and school health education, said that 5 to 10 million women and a million men in the United States suffer from some type of eating disorder or borderline condition that could lead to an eating disorder. She says the two most common eating disorders in the United States are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Ballard says there are three different factors in a young adolescent’s life where cultural obsession with slenderness might be counter-balanced to help prevent eating disorders.

The first factor is the family and how it can create an environment at home that promotes self-worth and a positive self-image. Families need to focus on the child’s qualities outside of their appearance and weight, Ballard notes.

To do this, she says parents must focus on the child’s activities and accomplishments rather than be preoccupied with the child’s weight. Parents must also serve as role models in the child’s life and maintain a healthy fitness program for themselves rather than an obsessive one, she adds.

The second factor is the role the media plays in a child’s perception of body image. Ballard said adolescents are bombarded with many messages each day telling them they will be more accepted and more valued if they are more attractive and achieve a certain weight.

"As a society we need to learn to look at advertisements, television shows and movies as stories and not true to real life. Children and adults need to learn to critically view the media and understand that the media’s portrayal of what is worthy and attractive doesn’t have to define what we think is worthy and attractive," she observed.

Society needs to promote a healthier body image and place more value and emphasis on the intellectual, fine arts and self-worth to prevent eating disorders from becoming an even deadlier disease than it is, Ballard points out.

The third factor important in preventing eating disorders is a child’s educators and education. Ballard recommends schools create a healthy and positive environment where all students are treated equally regardless of size. Educators should teach children through their own actions how to treat others and also stress healthy practices in daily lives, she says, adding that physical, health and nutrition programs should be implemented to provide children with healthy body image norms.

Ballard’s research includes several topics related to women’s health issues and school health education such as the role fathers play in their daughters’ lives, what educational programs are offered in women’s centers and the role of domestic violence in incarcerated women. She has co-authored a book on contemporary women’s health that is used in her women’s health class.

CONTACT: Danny Ballard at 979-845-7649 or

Tura King | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

nachricht Breakthrough in Mapping Nicotine Addiction Could Help Researchers Improve Treatment
04.10.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>