In this essay I will be analysing and reviewing two articles both of which are based on the importance of health. The first article is called “What are we doing to our children? ” and is from the Weight Watchers Magazine. This article is about the increasing rate of obesity and how it can be prevented in children and teenagers. Obesity is a medical state where surplus fat has accumulated in the body so much that it has a heavy toll on a person’s health to the extent that a person’s life expectancy can be decreased. The second article that I will be reviewing is “Girls hit by eating disorders up 47%” this article is from the Sunday Mirror.
This article is about the rising number of girls who are suffering from anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia and bulimia are two types of eating disorders. Anorexia, also known as anorexia nervosa, is a prolonged eating disorder which is caused by loss of appetite. Bulimia nervosa is when a person eats large quantities of food but then gets rid of it by commonly vomiting the food out or by using laxatives. The target audience for the article based on obesity are mainly parents, warning them of the effects that obesity can have on their children.
We know this because the heading says “our children”. This obviously indicates that the target audience is mainly parents since the personal pronoun “our” probably means someone’s own child. The second article, regarding anorexia, is mainly aimed at teenagers and women. This is because the whole article focuses on the female gender. Also in the main title heading the only gender mentioned are “Girls”, this clearly shows that the target audience are women. However, the article could also be based on teenagers as it also mentions a lot about teenage eating disorders.
However, most teenagers may not read the Sunday Mirror and therefore the target audience for this website is based on older women rather than teenagers, but it still is aimed to capture the attention of teenagers. The headings in each of the articles are designed to capture the attention of the reader. In the article “What are we doing to our children? ” the bottom line, “our children”, has been written in a bolder and brighter colour than the rest of the title because if something involves children then the target audience will instantaneously want to know about their children and what is happening to them.
The heading has been phrased as a rhetorical question so that the target audience can immediately react to it, wanting to know what exactly is happening to their children possibly due to their ignorance. Similar to this, all of the sub headings in the rest of the article have also been placed in a rhetorical question so that the sub headings catch the attention of concerned parents. For example in the first paragraph “What is obesity? ” the sub heading is a question and has been placed as a rhetorical question so that the target audience can easily react to the headings by reading it immediately.
In the second article called “Girls hit by eating disorders up 47%”, a figure has been used so that teenagers and women can get alarmed by the large figure. By including a figure the women will immediately feel alarmed and would instantly want to read on. Also, in the same article another heading has been used to label a photograph-“Skinny models to blame for rise” this has been placed as a short and snappy sentence so that it catches the attention of the reader immediately. Fewer sentences have been used in the heading in order to make the title “short and snappy”.
Furthermore many pictures have been used to photograph the many conditions involving the varieties of weight. Each of the photographs has been used to capture the conditions in the worst looking way that is possible-they have also been structured in a way that makes sure the photos also capture the attention of the target audience. In the weight watchers magazine, the first photograph on the first page covers half of the sheet. This has been done deliberately so that the picture can’t be ignored (which readers tend to do) and instead catches the eyes of the readers who react to it.
One obese teenager and two healthy looking teenagers have been used in the photograph to illustrate how an obese person’s life may be like. The obese teenager’s shoulders are hunched and the body language shown by the boy signifies that he may be upset about his condition and that his state may be affecting his socialising. The other two boys in the photograph also look as if they are mocking the boy about his condition and the fact that he is unable to participate in physical activities like they are doing.
In order to show all of the things that may be occurring in an obese person’s life, the weight watchers magazine has used this photograph so that parents are immediately stunned at what could happen or what may be happening in their child’s life. Also in the same article another photograph has been used to show the types of food that cause obesity. In the photograph a burger, French fries and a fizzy, sugary beverage have been used along with more than a handful of a variety of different sauces.
All of these items have been placed in a fairly large photograph so that the reader is aware of the many types of food that lead to the horrific condition. Also in the last page of the article, another photograph has been used. This photograph shows both healthy children and teenagers who are all skipping across the field happily. This photo is used to show that if you are healthy and exercise regularly then you’ll also be both happy and fit. The photograph has been used to show that a healthy lifestyle can lead to a happy life.
In the second article two photographs have been used to show a person with the condition of anorexia. In the first photograph a girl who is just wearing her undergarments is shown- she used to suffer from anorexia and it shows how her body was, in a way deformed as she was so skinny. The photograph has been presented in this way so that teenager and women can get alarmed by what anorexia could do to a person. Following that photograph, on the second photo the same girl has been used to show the way she looks after recovering from anorexia.
This photo has been used to show that a person looks far better without suffering from anorexia nervosa. The before and after photographs have been used to show how a person looks a great deal better not suffering from anorexia than actually suffering from the life threatening disease. Many facts and figures are used in the articles to portray the seriousness of eating disorders and obesity; for example, in the article about obesity it says that “55 percent of boys and 70 percent of girls will be overweight or obese”.
This statistical fact shows the predicted increasing amount of obesity; however, the facts and figures could be a bit distorted and increased as the current percentage for the predictions of obesity are quite lower than Weight Watchers Magazine claims. In the article about eating disorders facts and figures are also exaggerated, which isn’t a surprise as the Sunday mirror is famous for exaggerating a lot of their facts and figures! For example “47% from 562 in 2004 to 825 last year”-most of the facts here are true to an extent, however, like the article before, it is surreal since the rates of anorexia are lower than they claim to be.
Certain phrases and sentences are used in the Sunday mirror to make us react vigorously towards eating disorders. However, some of these sentences are just twisted to make us think they are very alarming. For example “poll of 3000 teenagers 75 percent said they felt they needed to lose weight” this quote has been placed in this article about eating disorders to make us think that the girls in the survey (who may be overweight) are girls of normal weight who may be thinking of going on extreme diets when actually the girls in the survey could be obese or fat, or it could be normal weighed girls who feel they need to go on a healthier diet.
The weight watchers magazine also plays around with the sentence. “The latest survey found that 59 percent of girls and 70 percent of boys do the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity” although the figures here are alarming, the sentence does not mention how many girls and how many boys were exactly included in the article. So it could have been only twelve boys and only twelve girls who were included in the survey. The interviews in each of the articles are included to convince the public that the matters which are discussed are real and should be taken seriously.
In both the articles, interviews are given by experienced people to enforce the fact that what the writers are saying is a world wide crisis. “Its possible that the types of food children eat now are affecting their metabolism, says Dr Paul Sacher, clinical research fellow at the institute of child health. ” This person has been included in the article to inform the public that the growing issue of epidemics like obesity is continuing to rise and may ultimately become a pandemic.
This important person with a long title is used so that the public can trust the message which the article is trying to send. In the article about eating disorders people with respectable titles like “MP Lamb” are used to back up the message of eating disorders. Throughout the whole article people like MP Lamb and Susan Ringwood- chief executive, are used to gain the trust of the public so that they carry on trusting articles from the Sunday Mirror.
Accessible language has been used in both of the health related articles, especially in the eating disorder article where both the sections in it have been written in accessible language. The weight watchers magazine has also been written accessible language. Both of the articles have been written in this form of language so that the target audience are interested in the articles and furthermore understand the words in the articles so they can react just as the writer has intended them to do so.
In the article about obesity, words such as “Staggering” are used create an image that the information given is so shocking that it will blow us away. The word is also used so that we know before hand that the figure which is going to follow is going to be very shocking and unbelievable. After looking and reviewing at both of the articles on obesity and eating disorders, I think the weight watchers magazine is far better than the article from the Sunday mirror. This is because the weight watchers magazine doesn’t contain facts and figures that are exaggerated or fake.
It contains all the true information and advices for its readers by telling them how they can reduce obesity. Although, both the magazine and newspaper have created the two articles for their own benefit, the weight watchers magazine is more efficient as it advises its readers on obesity as well as providing them with information on obesity whereas the eating disorder article mostly contains figures of the rising levels of people with eating disorders and doesn’t provide the reader the reader with any of the symptoms of anorexia and how anorexia can be prevented.
I think the weight watchers magazine will help to tackle the problem of obesity as it provides essential advice and information on how to protect against obesity. Moving on, I think people like Beth Ditto and Victoria Beckham have a big impact on the way that teenagers and women think and react to their body weight and appearance. The influences from both of these iconic women can be a negative one as they both try to flaunt their extreme bodies in a positive way to women all over the world.
On one hand there are women like Beth Ditto who are constantly showing how obesity can be a good thing and have its “perks” and being obese should be something that you’re proud of and should continue to do, while on the other hand people like Victoria Beckham are used by the media to dictate an ideal body which all women must have. However it’s not just the celebrities that are causing the outbreak of life threatening conditions like obesity and eating disorders, but it’s also the fault of the media who are constantly advertising these celebrities to intrigue women and teenagers.
There are constantly articles about Victoria Beckham and her so called new extreme “Diet Regime” which has helped her to stay on the weight of six stone or less. Such advertisements increase the rate of eating disorders as women may try it but the diet may not work leading to them going onto extreme measures like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Although, women are mostly focused on the most in the media, men are also continually pressurised to have the ideal “six-pack” which leads them to also going on extreme measures like anorexia.
Though it does sound out of sorts that men may suffer from anorexia, this gender is also pressurised into having the perfect body. Because of the amount of publicity and exposure on women the effects that men may be having from newspaper/magazine articles are ignored. Many male celebrities are constantly promoting the ideal body-every film or advertisement that is on television is constantly showing men with the perfect body and how they can achieve things which are not possible. These sort of commercials encourage men to chase after the body that is being persistently promoted.
I think the advertising of people like “Kate Winslett” and other celebrities who lead a healthy lifestyle will help to combat obesity and eating disorders as they will show how leading a healthy lifestyle can change your life. Interviews with celebrities who have gone through both obesity and eating disorders but are now healthy can help to lower the risks of these life threatening as it will show people how being healthy is better than being overweight or underweight as a person will automatically have a healthy lifestyle inside and out.