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Note: this piece uses identity-first language (autistic, disabled, etc.) based on the preferences of many of our community members. 

When I started watching Atypical, I was hopeful. Finally, there was a show purportedly centered on Sam, an autistic teen. Sure, Sam is the white, intelligent, relatively affluent, and male autistic person we’re all used to seeing. I was prepared for that. What saddened me was the realization that Sam’s character embodies many autistic stereotypes and further stigmatizes autism

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On October 9, NEDA surveyed over 333 people about how accurately they felt the media portrayed people’s bodies. Of these people, 68% of respondents chose “Very inaccurately,” 24% chose “Fairly inaccurately,” 7% chose “Fairly accurately,” and 1% chose “Very accurately.” 

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Media & Eating Disorders

Media and Eating DisordersWe live in a media-saturated world and do not control the message. There is no single cause of body dissatisfaction or disordered eating. However, research is increasingly clear that media does indeed contribute and that exposure to and pressure exerted by media increase body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.

Americans and Media Consumption

On September 21, NEDA asked Twitter to respond to the question “Does your school have eating disorder resources?” After collecting responses from 405 people, the results showed that the schools of nearly half of these respondents (46%) had no resources in place. The rest of the results were as follows: 14% said “Yes,” 17% said “Very few,” and 23% said “Not sure.”  

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In today’s culture, social media has begun to dominate even more of our lives, and its influence can quickly turn negative, according to a new study that focuses specifically on the effects of Instagram. 

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Every time a new piece of media hits the public regarding eating disorder representation, many of us are left to consider how the film and television industry can better portray the lives of those afflicted as well as convey the seriousness of these illnesses.

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How often do advertisements and social media posts generate discussion not about the cause of the post or advertisement, but because of the way the message was delivered?

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It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is excited to celebrate our collaboration with Facebook’s Crisis Support Over Messenger program. Through this exciting partnership, individuals can message the NEDA Helpline directly from our Facebook page.

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There’s been no lack of speculation about the effects of social media on body image and eating disorder recovery. On one hand, social media has fostered a diverse and vibrant body-positive and recovery community. On the other, social media often serves as a platform for anonymous bullying and face-and-body-altering filters. 

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At their core, eating disorders are all about obsession. Your illness is the voice that never quiets, whispering incessantly about the size of your thighs, the pounds you still think you need to lose, and most of all, food. It whispers about the food you “can’t” eat, the food that’s “safe,” the calories, carbs and grams of fat in every morsel that enters your mouth.

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