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HLTH 644 LU Promoting Body Positivity and Wellness Discussion

HLTH 644 LU Promoting Body Positivity and Wellness Discussion


Please respond to the following discussion post:

One factor that has contributed to the increase in eating disorders is the “ubiquitous Internet access and mobile smartphones.”1 This has brought about the opportunity for constant exposure and ability to compare oneself with another through social media, texting, video messaging, and various apps. The increase in smartphones and internet access has correlated with the increase in eating disorders as people are able to continually see what is thought to be popular and beautiful.1 Another factor is that there is an obesity epidemic and it is a major public health concern.1 This combined with the fact that “thinness” is often what is seen as beautiful,2 has raised awareness of body appearance and added increased pressure to be thin. In attempts to improve public health and lower the obesity rate, many are triggered and exhausted from constantly hearing how being overweight is “bad.” There has become a great emphasis on body size in our culture and though this may have been unintentional, it has played a role in the increase in eating disorders.1 I also read an interesting article that discussed the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in eating disorders. They are still trying to figure out why, but one theory suggests that it is because of the increase in mental illness because of the pandemic.3 

There are several barriers that prevent people who have an eating disorder from getting help. This could be because of their own reluctance due to embarrassment or stigma, it could also be related to not having access to quality help or not having the means to get it. Self-sufficiency and denial have also been found to be barriers.4 One systematic review found the percentage of people with eating disorders who seek help to be only about 23.2% however, another study found it to be as low as 13%.4  

There are several things that school-based health curriculums can address that may aid in the prevention of eating disorders. Nutrition lessons that do not teach food as “bad” or “good” and that encourage being in touch with your body to know what it needs would greatly benefit the students. It would also help to not compare the scores and records of the students in classes like P.E.  A media competence class would also greatly benefit the students so they can be on guard about how to properly deal with media and the pressures that come from it. It has also been found that many of these interventions are most beneficial when they are in separate classes dividing the boys and the girls.5

We learned that viewing the body as “‘God given’ and fixed rather than malleable seems to have contributed to a much lower incidence of EDs…”2 This is an important concept that if we were better able to truly understand, it would completely change our lives. I have been told that if we get God wrong then we get everything else in our lives wrong, but if we correctly understand who He is, then we have a foundation to get everything else right. This applies to our bodies, as we understand our importance and purpose, and that our “bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, you are not your own; you were bought at a price; therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)6 then we will treat our bodies differently. In the church, if this concept could be more deeply taught, it may help others view their bodies differently and make different choices about what they do with their bodies.  


1. Derenne J, Beresin E. Body Image, Media, and Eating Disorders—a 10-Year Update. Academic Psychiatry. 2017;42(1):129-134. doi: 

2. Anderson-Fye, E., McClure, S. and Wilson, R. (2015). Cultural Similarities and Differences in Eating Disorders. In The Wiley Handbook of Eating Disorders (eds L. Smolak and M.P. Levine). to an external site. 

3. Nicholls D. A perfect storm – how and why eating disorders in young people have thrived in lockdown and what is happening to address it. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Published online July 28, 2022. 

4. Ali K, Fassnacht DB, Farrer L, et al. What prevents young adults from seeking help? Barriers toward help-seeking for eating disorder symptomatology. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2020;53(6). doi: 

5. Martina K, Rosendahl J, Johanna R, Julia M, Berger U. School-based interventions improve body image and media literacy in youth: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Primary Prevention

6. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV – – Bible Gateway.… 

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