Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Intends to call on the FTC to Examine the Effects of “Photoshopped” Advertising on Eating Disorders and Consumer Health

The Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) and Seth Matlins of the Brave Girls Alliance commend Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s intent to introduce legislation requiring the Federal Trade Commission to study the broad-range of health consequences of advertising that “photoshops” and changes the human form by advertisers. “Photoshopped” advertisements have a particularly strong impact on children and girls. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said on the House Floor, “The kinds of altered or photoshopped images found in media today can cause unrealistic expectations of what the body is supposed to look like, causing emotional, mental and physical health issues, and often resulting in an eating disorder."

“We are extremely excited about this legislation. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has long been a champion for the eating disorders causes, and we value her leadership on this important initiative,” said Johanna Kandel, President of the Eating Disorders Coalition, “ The EDC has been concerned about the effect “photoshopping” can have on the onset of eating disorders for quite sometime and we look forward to its introduction and working with her on this initiative.”

"As the father of 2 young children, I'm incredibly grateful for the leadership Representative Ros-Lehtinen is demonstrating" said Seth Matlins, who first began advocating for this type of legislative action with his wife almost three years ago. "Advertisers have been operating within guidelines and a 'business-as-usual' approach that needs to be re-examined. When 69% of elementary school girls say magazine images influence their concept of ideal body shape - and yet the body shapes they see aren't real or attainable; when 80% of women feel "shame" after reading a beauty magazine, we need to act, and re-consider commercial practices that are harming a broad cross-section of the population."

The Eating Disorders Coalition is a non-profit policy and advocacy organization for persons with eating disorders located in Washington, DC. Seth Matlins is a father, marketer, and member of the Brave Girls Alliance, which shares the message that girls want, and deserve more empowered and healthy media.  For more information, visit www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org and BraveGirlsWant.com.

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