Proposed Legislation Takes Aim at Media & Advertising Influence & Manipulation
Online PR News – 03-February-2012 – – NEW YORK CITY/LOS ANGELES — The New York City-based National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has partnered with Off Our Chests, the Los Angeles-based women’s brand and movement, to rally consumer and congressional support behind their proposed “Media and Public Health Act” (MPHA).
Formerly known as “The Self Esteem Act,” the proposal asks for federal legislation requiring that “truth-in-advertising” labels be required on all ads and editorial content in which the human form has been materially altered through computer manipulation or other means.
The outreach is in response to the epidemic crisis of self-confidence affecting girls and women in the U.S. and the increasing number of people suffering from eating disorders across the country. Numerous studies have found that the unrealistic, “ideal” body images presented in film and television, on the web and in magazines, directly influences the development of poor self-esteem, disordered eating habits and/or full-blown eating disorders in those already at risk.
According to one recent study (Smolak, 2011), children, especially girls, by age 6 start to express concerns about their own weight or shape with 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) being concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat.
According to Rader Eating Disorder Programs: A study found that adolescent girls were more fearful of gaining weight than getting cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents. While only one out of 10 high school girls are overweight, nine out of ten high school juniors and seniors diet. In 1970, the average age a girl started dieting was 14; by 1990 the average age dropped to eight. Frequent dieting is highly correlated with depression.
Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, “We must fight back against the constant portrayal of unrealistic ideals of physical perfection. We plan to add our muscle and advocacy efforts to help build momentum to require disclosure when images are altered. There is no cost to government, the ad agency or the consumer … just the cost to the health of our young people if we don’t force change. We know these falsified images have an impact on eating disorders, illnesses that have the highest death rate of any mental illness, and we can’t ignore it any longer.”
Added Seth and Eva Matlins, co-founders of Off Our Chests, “With NEDA’s support, we will continue to push to bring truth-in-advertising to ads and editorial that are the equivalent of digital lies being told to girls and women about beauty. The unattainable body ideals, packaged as attainable perfection, are wreaking havoc in the self-confidence, esteem and health of too many.”
Off Our Chests is a purpose-driven brand on a mission to make the world a happier place for women and girls. It was founded by concerned parents, Seth and Eva Matlins, a former CAA agent and global CMO of Live Nation, and a former teacher and teen counselor, respectively. Currently comprised of an on-line magazine, www.offourchests.com – which provides a platform for women (and girls) to express themselves and share their stories in a non-judgmental and (optionally) anonymous setting. Its mottos – Share Your Story. Change Hers. and Feel More Better – convey the brand's belief that speaking one’s truth and sharing their stories are tools that will help women and girls feel better and be happier. The Off Our Chests' Collection of both high-end women's and children's StoryTees extends the Off Our Chests' mission with “Chestisms,” simple words, thoughts, and reminders intended to help each woman on her road to being happier.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org
For Treatment Referrals, Visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org
Or Contact NEDA’s Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST)
Off Our Chests
Fox Greenberg Public Relations — 323-933-8900
Sarah Greenberg — firstname.lastname@example.org
Kacy Shaw — email@example.com
Lauren Hedstrom — firstname.lastname@example.org
National Eating Disorders Association
Greenleaf & Associates — 323-660-5800
Vicki Greenleaf — email@example.com
Karen Brundage — firstname.lastname@example.org
Available for Interviews:
• Seth & Eva Matlins, Founders, Off Our Chests.
• Lynn Grefe, President & CEO, NEDA.
• Doctors, psychologists & other eating disorder treatment specialists throughout the country.
• Recovered eating disorder patients.
• NEDA ambassadors.