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Passions in Poetry

Health Rant

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Kellie_Cantrell
Senior Member
since 05-22-2002
Posts 1680
Washington State


0 posted 10-01-2007 10:50 AM       View Profile for Kellie_Cantrell   Email Kellie_Cantrell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kellie_Cantrell

(Part of an assignment for college, but in the end I ended up freaking on the media)


In the reading, the book went into depth extensively about health and wellness and factors that go into formulating and defining it as a string of choices, actions and reactions.  I am going to define Contemporary health in a vague and basic sense and then elaborate more on the effects that societal influences have imposed on us to manipulate and coerce us into a negative pathway to health.

Health and wellness require ones life to become balanced as a whole.  Eating the right foods, getting enough exercise and making sure that you stay away from things like drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.  In order to be healthy your mind, body and spirit have to be cared for, the more knowledge you have about your lifestyle the better prepared you can be at formulating a plan to get and stay healthy.

Contemporary health encompasses a spectrum that includes physical, mental, social and spiritual states of being.  These states are often adapting to new mindsets and patterns and are not complete unless they have achieved complete wellness.  Health and wellness is particularly vulnerable to personal choices and free will, therefore, we spend a lot of time honing in and adapting to changes in our lives to better maintain a balance of wellness. Not only does our personal preferences and choices effect our health and wellness but our community as a whole.  In the community there are choices that can either affect our health positively or negatively.  Keeping your life well balanced through diet, exercise and spirituality can reduce negative effects on your health and wellness.  

Societal influences have inundated the perceptions of our population for many years through media outlets such as; television, advertising, celebrities and radio.  In recent years I have begun to see the correlation between the media and "contemporary health" as an individual it is my responsibility to be held accountable for my own decisions and actions that effect my health and wellness in positive and negative ways.  In an antagonist society like the one we live in today there is no conduit in which health is easily obtainable.  Our media pressures us into being categorized in not just a norm, but in an anorexic norm, that is hardly such.

From a societal standpoint I have to agree with motherwintermoon from a web forum I have been keeping my eye on over the last few weeks she had stated “We simply live in a “fat” phobic society with completely unrealistic and damaging body ideals.”  This is very true, think back to a week or so ago when the news media and talk show media was inundated with Britney Spears’ VMA’s performance.  They attacked her as “fat” when she was only average for her height.  On a recent cover of Glamour Magazine the editorial staff made sure to shave pounds off of America Ferrera star of Ugly Betty and only then put up a quote that the star was “hot.”  The media is creating a society that is not conductive to a healthy lifestyle.  If the FCC has the ability to monitor and bring accountability to the media for language and sexual commentary, maybe they should take a good long look at the negative ideals that the media is instilling in our society about body image ideals. Instead of being “fat” phobic, the media should take a standpoint to combat obesity and do something to change that in society. Promote health, wellness and stability instead of anorexia and other unhealthy choices individuals can make.
Tears-of-Sanity
Member
since 09-05-2007
Posts 121
Kingdom Hearts


1 posted 10-08-2007 12:43 AM       View Profile for Tears-of-Sanity   Email Tears-of-Sanity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tears-of-Sanity

That is an interesting topic indeed.  I remember writing something like that a year ago or so, but not exactly the same.  It was also about the effect of the surrounding environment on the changes that happen to a person and how that person should cope witht them to be able to stay away from the bad stuff like drugs or suicide.

That was interesting.  What major are you studying?  

Tears of Sanity~

Mistletoe Angel
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Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


2 posted 10-08-2007 02:37 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Being someone who is currently battling an eating disorder as we speak (orthorexia, with some anorexic characteristics) I applaud what you're doing, and believe you've brought up some excellent points.

Having said that, there's a crucial point I believe that needs to be reiterated here, and that is regarding the social and psychological factors that I believe largely contribute to eating disorders (as well as other health decisions) in general.

As I'm currently in the process of recovering from orthorexia (fixation with eating purely) I have understood all too well the chronic dangers eating disorders can cause to our youth especially, and it is indeed a growing problem that is far more complex than many make it out to be on the surface.

I believe doctors and health specialists focus too much attention on how the media encourages young women especially not to eat so they can slim their figures down to be like the models they admire in teen magazines (which certainly is a leading factor to this problem) but overlook other social and psychological factors that also lead to eating disorders, including bullying and teasing at school, where many researchers have agreed that the first sign that one may be developing an eating disorder is when they are shy of eating in public in fear they will be teased about what they're eating, or regarding binge-eating, if a child begins to use food as an emotional pacifier.

My eating disorder gradually developed in stages, but what primarily generated it was how I read more and more about the FDA, companies and corporations allowing GMO's, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, herbicides and other synthetics and cyclamates to slip pass testing and into many mainstream foods available at our supermarkets. It became so commonplace my stomach couldn't take it anymore, so I ultimately started shunning out processed food in general, so my eating disorder is very much a social and psychological response, but not quite like that of anoretics.

Other studies are beginning to suggest one eating disorder, anorexia, is linked to Asperger's Syndrome, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorders (which I have both) which only makes the psychological make-up of this growing problem all the more complicated, and startling indeed.

Also, it's important to note that, unfortunately, those suffering eating disorders I've noticed are often accused of being idiots and such, simply because they don't eat or can't control their eating habits, like when people say, "The solution is simple........EATTTTTT!" On the contrary, health specialists and professional scholars have found that those suffering from anorexia, for example, are typically above-average intellectually, and also more inherently sensitive, introverted, perfectionist-minded, competitive and meticulous than average. Thus, anoretics are certainly at best misguided and at worst narcissistic, but they're NOT stupid. They're simply over their head in terms of perfectionism that they do things that are irrational that they'd live to regret later.

*

Thus, I've found a vast majority of eating disorders usually originate from a sort of reactionary standpoint emotionally and psychologically, and I believe the best way to both encourage individuals that all eating disorders are not healthy routes to go down, and encourage those already emaciated or obese that it's not healthy, is to take a relationally empathetic approach, and it's crucially important that our media is pressured to take a stand. Help them understand in an accomodating fashion what a healthy body image is, as indeed there's a healthy slim and an unhealthy slim, a healthy well-built and an unhealthy well-built, as well as understand the dangerous long-term health risks with being either emaciated or obese, but do so by making them feel like they're human, rather than like skeletons looking as though they've just come out of concentration camps or ugly whales flopping on the proverbial beach of life.

*

So the media is certainly a major factor here, but I staunchly believe, especially because eating disorders in general are in the most part a recent problem, that they're more complex than many make it out to be, and we have to consider how peer pressure, the lack of emotional support, anxieties and other social factors play into this problem as well.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


3 posted 10-09-2007 01:36 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I think we have a double standard in the U.S. There is the unrealistic hollywood standard (I was rolling my eyes last week at an interview where Paris Hilton claimed she eats whatever she wants- French fries, pizza... yeah, like 2 fries... but it's easy to stay skinny when you can afford personal trainers). This is the standard by which Britney Spears is fat. (She's not fat, she's just to crazy to pick out appropriate outfits for herself.)

But on the other end, there is a reactionary voice where everyone's body is okay, and you shouldn't crioticize obesity as a problem because that's discrimination. Basically- moderation is not valued in our society. We're either dieting, dieting, and dieting some more, or eating ourselves into obesity. Our culture is fixated with food- either the avoiding or indulgence in it.
 
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