Obesity among other eating disorders is a major public health problem today. All the way through history, body image has been determined by various factors, including politics and media. Coverage by the mass media (Internet, television, movies, magazines,) is associated with obesity and negative body image a.k.a Body shaming, which may lead to disordered eating. In this article we attempt to explain the historical context of the issue and search for potential avenues for change.
We evaluate the changes in the mindset regarding the definition of ideal female body type right through history, we comment on current attitudes toward shape and weight in both men and women and summarize interventions aimed at increasing healthy habits and harboring self-esteem in youth.
Right through history, the ideal beauty has been difficult to attain and has been standardized as per the social context. Current mass media is omnipresent and influential, leading to increased body dissatisfaction among both men and women.
The parents today need to limit their children’s exposure to media, promote a healthy eating regimen and a little to moderate physical activity as well as motivate participation in activities that increase mastery and self-esteem. To overcome this issue we need further funding for high-quality, visible promotion campaigns that promote a healthy life style may increase awareness.