Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kimberly Davidson, Author Of ‘Torn Between Two Masters’ Believes Eating Disorders In Some Adolescents Can Be Avoided

Author Kimberly Davidson offers advice to parents whose adolescent child suffers from an eating disorder in ‘Torn Between Two Masters’. Though divorce, abuse or loss of a loved one can be important contributing factors, she believes the fashion and media industries are directly responsible in many ways

As reported in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, a recent study demonstrated that a very significant percentage of adolescents suffer from eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. The study looked at 942 adolescents between 14 and 20 years of age who entered the University of Michigan Medical Center between October 2010 and March 2011. The study reported that female adolescents were 3.27 times more likely than males to suffer from these disorders, while no significant differences were found across income or ethnic groups.

Why the significant difference between females and males, all other things being equal? Kimberly Davidson, author of ‘Torn Between Two Masters’, believes mass media messages and the body images set by the modeling and movie industries have affected the increase of eating disorders in teens, both female and male.

“Most American teenage girls,” stated Ms. Davidson, “feel increased pressured by the fashion and media industries to be skinny. They struggle when they look at themselves in the mirror. Compared to guys, there are radical differences when it comes to acceptable body type preferences—from the super thin male models, to the hyper-muscular Mr. Universe. In general, women must adhere only to the thin female ideal. And typically males view seeking professional help as a sign of weakness. Traumatic issues such as divorce, abuse or the loss of a loved one, often play a major role in enabling eating disorders, but those will likely be the same for all groups. The high percentage of females likely reflects the pressure media images place on female adolescents. Teens are vulnerable and need help navigating mass media. It is a parent or guardian’s job to protect their children from poisonous role models. The key is education in media literacy.”

The study linked together depression and substance abuse. “Eating dinner together,” responded Ms. Davidson, “has been shown to prevent or reduce the risk of eating disorders, depression, and drug and alcohol use. It doesn't have to be a home-cooked meal. The idea is to bring the family together.”

Other subjects covered in ‘Torn Between Two Masters: Encouraging Teens to Live Authentically in a Celebrity-Obsessed World’ include but are not limited to:

* Why the lure of celebrity is so powerful
* How to minimize celebrity obsession by increasing a teen's self-worth
* The best ways to help teens navigate and be critical of the media
* How to identify and discourage negative and normalized behaviors such as 'hooking up’ and body sculpturing
* How Jesus Christ can transform a teen's life into one of purpose

“From a pastoral counselor's perspective” continued Ms. Davidson, “I believe readers will find ‘Torn Between Two Masters’ especially interesting, as the book explores the captivating, and serious, implications of this culture's obsession with celebrities and the effect it has on adolescents. It provides timely insights for parents, youth leaders, and anyone else who loves and mentors teenagers.”

Kimberly Davidson is available for media interviews and speaking engagements and can be reached using the information below or by email at kim@kim-davidson.com. More information is available at her website. ‘Torn Between Two Masters: Encouraging Teens to Live Authentically in a Celebrity-Obsessed World’ is available at Amazon and other online book retailers.

About Kimberly Davidson:

Kimberly Davidson received a MA from Western Seminary, a BS from the University of Iowa, is a board certified biblical counselor and spiritual development coach. She has ministered to women for over ten years, from the walls of prison to youth centers, inspiring them to empower God to meet their emotional and spiritual needs. Kimberly is also a Her Journey leader with ARMS (Abuse Recovery Ministry Services) and a Guest Instructor at Western Seminary on the subject of Eating Disorders and Body Image.

Kimberly is the author of five books and a contributor to five books, and has penned numerous articles. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kimberly has lived in Iowa, New York (Long Island), London, suburbia Chicago, and Los Angeles.


Kimberly Davidson