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Why Are Teens 'Dying to Be Thin'

Armen Hareyan's picture

American teenagers are so barraged with opinions and images about how they look every waking moment of their turbulent lives -- from youth-focused advertising and peer pressure, to sometimes even family criticism -- that many are hardly able to resist trying whatever it may take to become and stay thin: dieting, purging, even starving themselves.

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Startlingly, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, the mortality rate among people with anorexia is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females, ages 15-24.

Young women -- and men -- living in the health-conscious Rocky Mountain West aren't spared the temptation to obsess about their body image. In fact, the compulsion to create the 'perfect body' may be even more prevalent here than elsewhere in the U.S. Viewers can find out more about the problem (and how it can be stopped) first-hand from Denver-area teens in this month's special "Student Voices: Dying to Be Thin," one of three all-new MetroBeat TV shows airing on Comcast MetroBeat TV and on Channel 8 throughout Metro Denver through June 6.

MetroBeat TV is a collaborative pilot project between Comcast and 25 greater Denver Metropolitan Area communities. It was designed to explore new potential uses of cable television technologies that would meet both the unique needs of local communities beyond the current television models, and increase the value of community programming to citizens at a regional level.