The mass media has contributed to the way individuals perceive beauty and “perfect” body figure and, therefore, influenced eating habits. Due to the media campaigns and programs, the society praises slim body shapes, associating it with beauty and attractiveness, whereas obesity is negatively perceived (Feldman, 2005). This is why there are many commercials and programs on National Television that campaign against obesity, encouraging weight loss.
An example of such a television program is The Biggest Loser featured on NBC channel. It is focused on the person that would record the greatest weight loss. The program even promises a colossal amount of money to the overall winner. In order to win, the participant should record the greatest weigh lost. In its essence, this program portrays obesity as an unwanted state in the society. Although it features the participation of both men and women, the majority of participants are often women. Therefore, there is a feeling promoted in the society that being overweight is rather undesirable for women. The mass media messages influence how we view our bodies relative to those of role models and celebrities. Women would like to gain model-type bodies. Thus they would do anything which sometimes induces eating disorders such as bulimia in order to attain the slim bodies (Feldman, 2005).
Mass media can play a pivotal role in contributing to better eating habits. This can be done through healthy diets, the type of foods to eat, and the mode in which they can be consumed. Impliedly, media houses should encourage hiring the personnel with different healthy body shapes, however, not too thin. This will send a positive message to the audience that you do not have to be skinny to look good (Feldman, 2005).
As a society, we can collectively support the culture of healthy eating. The consumption of organic foods is rather encouraged than feeding on high-fat content foods. If a person is overweight, they should use body friendly methods of reducing their weight. These methods include physical exercises and correct eating habits. Taking pills promises quick results but has adverse effects on the body and should, therefore, be discouraged.