Critical Summary of Cultural Effects on Eating Attitudes in Israeli Subpopulations and Hospitalized Anorectics

Essay by JamexUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 1996

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In the article 'Cultural Effects on Eating Attitudes in Israeli Subpopulations and Hospitalized Anorectics (Apter Et Al, 1994), the authors introduce to us their thesis: due to the clashing values between the western ideology of the teenage feminine body and the traditional Israeli subpopulation views, there is an increasing amount of anorexia nervosa proportionate to the severity of the western influence. To test their hypothesis, Apter surveyed adolescent Israeli girls in 10 subpopulations of Israeli culture. Throughout the rest of the article, Apter goes on to prove their thesis by illustrating to us the method they instantiated as well as the results they attained from conducting the survey.

Apter explains to us that anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder that affects mostly upper & middle class teenage girls in the western world. This disease is both physically and psychologically damaging to these girls. For these girls, thinness and self-appearance is what they revolve their lives around.

Studies conclude that people in professions where physical appearance is of extreme importance are more likely to develop an eating disorder. In the Western world, over the past two decades eating disorders have increased substantially. People believe that this increase in eating disorders is due to the fashion industry. The fashionable female figure of today has become thinner and more tubular (Szmulker, McCance, McCrone, & Hunter, 1986).

In the world today, Apter believes that thinness is more and more a symbol of the feminine ideal. He finds that the Western role of a woman is now beginning to include success in the work force, sexually attractive as well as the traditional roles as nurturant wives and mothers. Apter hypothesizes that this added stress of Western ideology combined with the non-Western ethnic origin of these adolescents could create complications such that the attitudes...