“According to the Forward, a possible reason for eating disorders amongst ultra-religious Jews is the practice of arranged marriage. ‘Very often, young men looking for brides in the Orthodox community call a girl’s parents and ask for her dress size.’ If it’s over a size 8, says the Forward, she may be headed for spinster city.
“The arranged marriages may be causing eating disorders for another reason as well: Orthodox women are encouraged to wed at a very young age, and some teens who are seeking to avoid marriage develop anorexia to avoid menstruation. No menses = no babies = no marriage.
“The Orthodox Union is trying to raise money to produce a documentary about eating disorders within the community, tentatively titled, Dying To Be Thin. Jewcy points out that most mainstream eating disorder films focus on the media’s influence on body image, but in TV-free Orthodox households, those messages don’t resonate in the same way.”