RTI Cohort 4 focused our research topic on the intersections of disordered eating, gender, body image, and Jewish culture. After surveying over 400 young Jewish women, young Jewish men, moms, and dads, we found staggering evidence of disordered eating and food/body-related anxieties in our community. Specifically, we found a direct link between grandmothers, mothers, and teenage girls of intergenerational transmission of food/body-related expectations, criticisms, and pressures to conform to idealized beauty standards. Our research shows that young Jewish girls and their mothers buy in to Western beauty myths to the point where some of us are clinically diagnosed with eating disorders, and most of us experience criticism from family members about the ways we look at least 1 time per week. Our research is directly in line with major, peer-led academic studies that show that Jewish women suffer from disordered eating at a higher rate than any ethnic minority.
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