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Dying to be Thin

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This hour-long program is divided into eight chapters. Choose any chapter below and select QuickTime or Real Video to begin viewing. If you experience difficulty viewing, it may be due to high demand. We regret this, and suggest you try back at another time. Due to rights restrictions this program is not available for downloading.

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Chapter 1:
Abnormally Thin

This chapter:

  • reveals that eating disorders are common in the world of dance.

  • describes case studies of two women battling anorexia nervosa.

  • describes the toll anorexia can take on the body including low blood pressure, damage to the kidneys and liver, and heart failure.

  • notes that anorexia has increased by 36 percent every five years since the 1950s—at least 8 million people suffer from it—and the most vulnerable age group is 15-24 year old women.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

Watch the video in:
QuickTime | RealVideo

Running time: 07:12



Chapter 2:
Cultural Pressures

This chapter:

  • reveals some reasons women develop eating disorders.

  • recounts how the thin look became glamorous with 1960s model Twiggy.

  • introduces Joan Jacobs Brumberg, author of "Fasting Girls," and her ideas concerning society's idealization of thinness.

  • profiles a plus-size model and her struggles with weight, anorexia, and the modeling industry's expectations concerning thinness.

  • reports historical accounts of food refusal and reasons for it.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

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Running time: 07:36



Chapter 3:
The Search for Answers

This chapter:

  • states that three out of every 100 women develop anorexia or bulimia.

  • suggests why some people may develop an eating disorder.

  • describes common personality traits of people with eating disorders.

  • notes that serotonin plays a role in mood and appetite and reports on animal and human studies of brain serotonin levels and their relationship to diet and starvation.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

Watch the video in:
QuickTime | RealVideo

Running time: 04:17



Chapter 4:
Treatment

This chapter:

  • states that anorexia is one of the most difficult psychiatric illnesses to treat.

  • conveys the importance of addressing the underlying causes that led to the disorder as well as the related symptoms and behaviors.

  • discusses the experiences and feelings of some people with anorexia.

  • describes typical personality traits of anorexics.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

Watch the video in:
QuickTime | RealVideo

Running time: 04:12



Chapter 5:
The Ballet World

This chapter:

  • profiles a 21-year-old ballerina and her struggles with both anorexia and a self-inflicting cutting behavior.

  • tells that for many dancers, there is a tendency to diet because one of the only things they feel they can control is how much and what they eat.

  • states that eating disorders are more common in women than men, but men are still afflicted.

  • notes that dancers are at particular risk for developing osteoporosis as a consequence of anorexia.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

Watch the video in:
QuickTime | RealVideo

Running time: 08:31



Chapter 6:
Running On Empty

This chapter:

  • explains that strenuous exercise leads to a form of anorexia where appetite is healthy but exercise is out of control.

  • states that anxiety can be an underlying symptom of exercise anorexia.

  • profiles a woman with this form of anorexia whose heart rate plummeted after she worked out after running a marathon.

  • cites a possible reason why Prozac is often not initially helpful for anorexics.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

Watch the video in:
QuickTime | RealVideo

Running time: 06:20



Chapter 7:
Bulimia Nervosa

This chapter:

  • explains that the disorder bulimia nervosa, involving binge eating and purging, often begins when girls are 18 years old and at a normal weight.

  • notes that Prozac, psychotherapy, and cognitive behavior therapy often are helpful treatments for bulimia.

  • explains that one aspect of bulimia relates to disturbances in feeling satisfied with a meal—the body chemical CCK contributes to sensations of fullness, but for bulimics, less CCK is released, and they continue to eat.

  • reports on a study regarding how food is processed in active and recovering bulimics.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

Watch the video in:
QuickTime | RealVideo

Running time: 07:07



Chapter 8:
Road to Recovery

This chapter:

  • looks at the recovery of three women profiled in the program who had been afflicted with an eating disorder.

  The dance world; An irrational fear; Anorexia on the rise

Watch the video in:
QuickTime | RealVideo

Running time: 06:10



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