The Impact of Media on Affective and Cognitive Variables Thought to be Related to Eating Disorders

  • Marko Bozovic


Eating disorders, namely Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, have been in the spotlight for the past several decades due to their devastating effects on individuals’ mental and physical wellbeing. Numerous past research studies have shown that powerful sociocultural factors, among which is the media, contribute to the development and perpetuation of eating disorder symptomatology. The present effort set out to retrace the steps of past research with an aim of determining which forms of media are considered to impact affective and cognitive variables related to eating disorders. In this endeavor the internalization of the thin-body ideal was detected in the cases of exposure to television, music videos and websites, but not the print media. In essence, this review shows that media, a very powerful sociocultural stakeholder, “manipulates” feelings of women regarding their bodies and appearances in general.