'To the Bone' walks fine line of depicting eating disorders - KCTV5

'To the Bone' walks fine line of depicting eating disorders

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Leaders in the eating disorder community say that the new film "To the Bone" is helping increase awareness and conversations around the illness, but some worry about its potential effects. (Netflix) Leaders in the eating disorder community say that the new film "To the Bone" is helping increase awareness and conversations around the illness, but some worry about its potential effects. (Netflix)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Leaders in the eating disorder community say that the new film "To the Bone" is helping increase awareness and conversations around the illness, but some worry about its potential effects.

The film's trailer has already been the subject of much debate and criticism as to whether or not it glamourizes eating disorders. "To the Bone" debuts on Netflix on Friday.

Actress Lily Collins stars as a 20-year-old anorexic artist who is put in a treatment home at the suggestion of a doctor played by Keanu Reeves.

The film is based on the experiences of writer-director Marti Noxon, who struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 10 years. She consulted experts to help create a fictionalized version of her experiences.

She and Collins say the result is a film about hope and recovery.

Controversy has popped up online saying the film glamorizes the disorder.

"The onset of eating disorders has two peaks in adolescence during puberty and the transition to young adulthood, so those are two very vulnerable populations to watch out for,"  child psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Zajac explains.

KCTV5 News took to our Facebook page to hear your thoughts. Of those participating, 86-percent say the film opens up good dialogue, and 14-percent say it is totally inappropriate.

“It’s great to have dialogue about these issues, but parents need to be involved with educating their children when they watch these shows," Jeremy Bolinger of Lawrence said.

“It’s a show. Don’t watch it if you’re that sensitive," Frank Lee of Kansas City adds.

Experts say it will certainly have people talking, which can be good.

But Zajac worries shows about suicide, like 13 Reasons Why, and this new film about eating disorders are targeted at an audience that isn’t fully developed to make rational choices.

"I am cautious because I think there are going to be some triggering scenes that may exacerbate a patient's symptoms, and we may also see more people coming into the emergency department," she said.

The Butterfly Foundation for eating disorders released some information ahead of the film with a warning that if you think your kids are going to watch the film, you must watch it with them.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Eating Disorders Association at 1-800-931-2237.

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