During the last 50 years, eating disorders have developed to a complicated and widespread medicaland social issue. The latest research results indicate that eating disorders have a quite complicatedand multifactorial etiology. According to the multifactorial etiological model, the impact of massmedia can be regarded mainly as a precipitating factor. The literature review showed that massmedia have a considerable impact on the development and perpetuation of eating disorders. Massmedia contribute to the promotion of the thinness ideal as a way to achieve social approval, recognitionand success. Mass media also promote dieting and food deprivation, as a successful way oflife or as a socially agreeable practice. Furthermore, the literature review showed that mass mediaremain the main source of information about eating disorders. Considering the above result, massmedia could play a major role in the promotion of prevention practices and early diagnosis andtreatment of eating disorders.

Key words: Eating disorders, mass media, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, diet

A. Peroutsi, F. Gonidakis (page 231) - Full article in Greek