Sunday, April 02, 2006

Eating Disorders and Semantic Contagion

I've been thinking about the idea of semantic contagion and when I read this article on The Anorexic Challenge, it occured to me (from reading the article and in my own experience) that part of the contagious element involved with eating disorders is semantic, especially within cliques of teenage girls.

"The fantasy of achieving a "bikini-ready" body on a deadline is an intoxicating incentive, according to those who have experienced and observed the behavior. And in a school setting, in which tightly knit groups of young women are all vacationing together, diets easily become competitive or, as Dr. Maine put it, contagious."

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