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The American Medical Association takes stand against image manipulation in advertising July 14, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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The American Medical Association (AMA) is lobbying advertisers to adopt a policy of refraining from manipulating body images in new ads. The association reported that “such alterations can contribute to unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image – especially among impressionable children and adolescents,” thus leading to eating disorders and other health problems. Reactions to the AMA’s decision have been mixed, despite widespread concerns about the problems that the group seeks to address. One eating disorder specialist quoted by The Huffington Post reported that there is no causal link between digital editing in ads and health problems among teens. Another media critic, Elizabeth Perle, argued that the ban on digital editing might lead to worse health problems overall since models and other public figures might go to extremes to look perfect for publishers who would no longer be able to touch up  images.

For more on why some media experts are concerned about digital editing and its effects on public health, see the following excerpt from Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly.”

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think excessive altering of images in advertisements leads to health problems among certain groups of people? Why, or why not?

2.  Is the AMA wrong in its new quest? Why, or why not?



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