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