Young People's Dieting Behaviors and Social Networks Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of the effects of a strong social network on young people's dieting behaviors.
# 151459 | 2,134 words | 14 sources | APA | 2012 | US

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The paper discusses how essential family and friend-based connections are to sustaining the mental health of young people who go on extreme diets to fit in socially and project competence. The paper address the myth of individualism in American culture and emphasizes the peer pressure and the need to conform to ideals of appearance and body image. The paper goes on to highlight the critically important role of the immediate family members in the creation of a consistent self-image and the lesser role of electronic social networks in creating networks of young people. The paper also focuses on the need for educational programs on a healthy diet and destructive dieting.

Executive Summary
The Myth of Radical Individualism in Young People
Dieting For Weight versus Reputation Control
The Critical Need for Awareness through Education

From the Paper:

"What's needed to navigate young people through these many pressures to use extreme, unhealthy dieting as a proxy for competency and attractiveness and towards a more realistic self-image is the creation of more cohesive immediate and extended social networks. The use of electronically enabled social networks has also proven highly beneficial in reducing the isolation of young people, specifically adolescents at risk of unhealthy behaviors (Bernoff, Li, 2008) yet it is not enough.
"The effects of immediate and extended family networks therefore need to be cultivated for young people to have a more resilient self-image and diet responsibly for their health, less for their image. As research of this paradox indicates, the fact that young girls who lack immediate and extended family social network support are at the greatest risk of eating disorders (Dohnt, Tiggemann, 2006) further underscores the need for more focused outreach and education programs. What has emerged is a focus on diet and thinness as a means for reputation control. The connection between exceptionally thin physiques and competence occurring at a national level of Argentina (Ballve, 2006) happens in every developed nation globally. The illusion of the rugged individualist gives way to the young person, the majority of the time a girl, seeking to have a reputation for competence and an image of beauty that is never completely perfected."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Marcelo Ballve. (2006, November). A Model Society. Psychology Today, 39(6), 19.
  • Bennett, J.. (2009). A focus on child weight management. Practice Nurse, 37(2), 36-37.
  • Bernoff, J., & Li, C.. (2008). Harnessing the Power of the Oh-So-Social Web. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 36-42.
  • Hayley K. Dohnt, & Marika Tiggemann. (2006). Body Image Concerns in Young Girls: The Role of Peers and Media Prior to Adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35(2), 135-145.
  • Haveman, Robert, Wolfe, Barbara, & Spaulding, James. (1991). Childhood Events and Circumstances Influencing High School Completion. Demography, 28(1), 133.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Young People's Dieting Behaviors and Social Networks (2012, June 11) Retrieved March 04, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Young People's Dieting Behaviors and Social Networks" 11 June 2012. Web. 04 March. 2021. <>