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Dying to Be Thin

Program Overview


NOVA investigates the causes, complexities, and treatments for the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The program:

  • chronicles the struggles of girls and women who have had, or currently have, anorexia or bulimia.

  • reviews the medical complications associated with prolonged starvation.

  • explains that an estimated 8 million people suffer from anorexia and bulimia, that at least three of every 100 adolescent girls will develop anorexia or bulimia, and that although men rarely suffer from the disorder the rate among men appears to be increasing.

  • investigates why eating disorders are a growing problem.

  • examines how culture contributes to eating disorders by reinforcing what is considered beautiful through repeated exposure to thin role models.

  • highlights the important aspects of successful treatment for people with anorexia or bulimia.

  • profiles one supermodel's journey from struggling with anorexia to accepting her natural weight and ultimately becoming a highly successful plus-size fashion model.

  • points to psychotherapy as one of the most critical components to recovery.

Teacher's Guide
Dying to Be Thin
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