The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Assistant professor explains dangers of false perception

By David Butler/reporter

Thin as a twig or ripped like a body builder — these extremes often portrayed by the media and society can influence distorted perceptions of an individual’s reality, a life science assistant professor told SE Campus students last week.

Jason Wooten presented Body Image: Fantasy Versus Reality to an audience of about 80 people Feb. 4.

“There’s a health risk of being too thin or being too fat,” he said.

Wooten delved into the topics of bulimia (a constant craving for food followed by drastic weight loss measures), anorexia nervosa (faulty eating patterns, malnutrition) and muscle dysmorphia (a pathological preoccupation with muscularity and leanness).

Wooten said he chose this topic to inform students how to be themselves in a healthy way.

“Society’s perception has evolved,” he said.

He showed two pictures side-by-side, one of a 1970s action figure and one of a present-day action figure. Compared to the action figures of today, Wooten said, the action figure from then looks like a stick figure.

Wooten broke down the psyche of people with muscle dysmorphia.

“They have a fixation on weight loss,” he said. “It’s their perception, so to them it’s a reality.”

People with this disorder are loners, avoid social circles and stick to rigid routines even if they’re sick or injured, he said. 

Wooten said the Journal of Athletic Training gives examples of this fact.

“One man with MDM detailed how he missed the birth of his first child because he had to finish his six-hour workout,” he said.

“Another testified that he lost his prestigious position at a well-known law firm because he had to adhere to a strict dieting and eating regimen.”

Wooten offered tips on proper workout techniques.

“Smartly, logically increase intensity periodically so you can make steps to improve,” he said.

Wooten told the audience to maintain a healthy body mass index, eat as a family, walk, jog and drink beyond thirst so they don’t get dehydrated.

Wooten holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology and currently works on a doctorate in health from Texas Woman’s University.

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