Anorexia Nervosa

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dbodies. Whether it was the diet soda boom of the 80's, or the fact everyone has always been unhappy with his or her natural bodies; it just took me a while to comprehend. It always seemed like there were diets here, diets there; these drugs can do this, or these herbs can do that… "Stop the insanity!" This paper is going to discuss anorexia nervosa, an alarming disease that is usually developed during puberty of both boys and girls. Like bulimia, in which the subject binges and then disposes of ingested food by purging or use of laxatives, those suffering anorexia nervosa have an obsession with the amount of fat on her body (although one of every ten suffering this disease are male, I will use the female pronoun since they are the majority). This results in the loss of appetite completely and dangerous weight loss. More than thirty years ago one of this century's major sex symbols sang, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," on television. With her size fourteen to sixteen figure, it is doubtful that society's standards would approve Marilyn Monroe today. Back in those days men and women alike ate what tasted good or what the body needed and simply bought clothes that would hide any unwanted weight gain. Today the story is different. Psychologists that study the influence of television on children say that television is the most influential medium in our "visually orientated" society (Velette, 1988, p.3). With the influence of television and celebrity role models, children don't care that they see a variety of sizes outside of their home, what they care about are the majority of people shown on the television set, perfect. Teenagers have typically watched 15,000 hours of television in their lifetime (Valette, 1988, p.4), absorbing the opinions on the shows or the commercials burning into their retinas. The message transmitted: "To be successful, beautiful, popular, and loved you must be thin, you must be thin, you must be THIN." After a lifetime of hearing this message over and over and over again, children may not think there is any reason to be happy with what they are and feel thinness is the ultimate goal to be happy and accepted by others. As a result, some children may skip breakfast, eat a little for lunch, or even adopt some form of diet. This may only last for a week or so, but for others, the obsession of thinness is higher and the price they pay is frightening.

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