Politics

So much for the obesity epidemic

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Despite the obesity epidemic, North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin, and Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis are pushing legislation to encourage the media to produce healthier images of women.

They say women and girls feel overly pressured to be thin.

The trio convened with teenage Girl Scouts Wednesday to promote their bill, the Healthy Media for Youth Act, which would facilitate research on how the media affects women, create a grant program for youth empowerment groups, and establish a National Taskforce on Women and Girls in the Media to set standards ”that promote healthy, balanced, and positive images of girls and women.”

“Children are consuming more media than ever, but unfortunately, the images they see often reinforce gender stereotypes, emphasize unrealistic body images or show women in passive roles. The need for more positive images of girls in the media is clear,” said Baldwin. “I’m proud to sponsor legislation that will help girls and young women see themselves in a new and stronger light.”

A press release about the event cited a survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute, which found that 89 percent of girls say the fashion industry pressures them to be skinny. The release also pointed to a 2007 report from the the American Psychological Association, which showed that eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem “are linked to the sexualization of girls and women in media.” (Stimulus-funded war on obesity spreads nationwide)

“I am proud to join with Sen. Hagan and Rep. Baldwin to promote gender equality, and positive portrayals of women and girls in the media,” said Davis, whose Institute of Gender in Media found that male characters outnumber female characters nearly three to one in family films and television. The discrepancy grows to five to one in background or group scenes. Further, only 27 percent of speaking characters are women.

“What children see affects their attitudes toward male and female roles and impacts the value they place on girls and women in society,” said Davis. “The Healthy Media for Youth Act will help ensure we are creating a positive media environment for all our children.”

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  • pylgrym47

    What are these people thinking (or are they even)? With all the furor over the debt ceiling and deficits they want to spend more on research, grants and a task force to promote “a healthier image for women”? Enough, already!

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  • Blogengeezer

    Remove the Obese children from their obvously disfunctional homes…”for their own safety”.? Say now, isn’t that the agenda of Every budding Dictatorship. “Deny Freedom” for the ‘Safety’ of the people? Latest Leftist (even farther Left of Liberal) ‘Control’ proposal on their list of objectives.

    Was it Plato that wrote; it was the duty of the Government to raise the children away from the bad influences of the home? The at one time working traditional home, that has been now degraded to a subsidized sub-culture by govt dependency addiction?

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  • Lou

    “Children are consuming more media than ever…” Then get your kids off the couch and quit trying to control every single thing by “legislating” everything to death.

    Geez.

  • Rocketman

    I learned a new word today, sure to be in the next edition of the “Concise Oxford English Dictionary”:

    “Manorexia” – that’s MALE anorexia. Allegedly, young men are starving themselves in order to look like the male models they see in all the fashion magazines.
    (chuckle)

    The sad fact is that the less money a family has, the more likely they are to have “obese” kids. The reasons are simple:
    1.) Foods high starch and fat are cheap and filling,
    2.) A parent’s role is to feed their children,
    3.) Zero exercise is a recipé for disaster as the kids can’t work off all the carbs and calories.

    Easy as one, two, three:
    Work off at least as many calories as you take in.
    So, how do you convey that message to poor people?
    And no, gubmint-supplied cheese aint helpin’.

    Maybe Moochelle could travel the country and teach urban porkers and the poor to grow their own Arugula.

    Headshakingly stupid and none of the gubmint’s bidness.
    BTW, Restaurants, you needn’t try to impress your patrons with huge portions of bad filler food.

    ~(Ä)~

  • rosey

    I’m glad to see that Mrs. Davis and the two congresswomen are supporting GOP women. One’s running for President. Maybe Mrs. Bachman can convince the other strong, beautiful, truly feminist women, Mrs. Palin, to join her as VP on the ticket…

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