Eating Disorders

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Millions of American women struggle with eating disorders. An eating disorder is a disturbance in eating behavior. Most people associate eating disorders with anorexia nervosa, "active self-starvation or sustained loss of appetite that has psychological origins" (Coon 133), or bulimia nervosa, "excessive eating (gorging) usually followed by self-induced vomiting and/ or taking laxatives (Coon 411). They need to purge their bodies of calories in any way possible, so they may also use diuretics or even exercise compulsively. Their body images are severely distorted. They're the most talked about and the best studied eating disorders, and researchers estimate that nearly seven million women in the United States suffer from either anorexia or bulimia. But there's a newly recognized condition known as binge-eating disorder that is now considered the most common eating disorder. In the U.S. population, it has a frequency of about one to four out of every one hundred people. Although eating disorders afflict women much more often than they do men, it is estimated that about one million American men suffer from either anorexia or bulimia, and millions more have binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders are much more prevalent in industrialized countries. According to the American Psychiatric Association, eating disorders are most common in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa. Americans today live in a fat-phobic society where, from a very early age, girls are raised to think that thin is better. The famous writer and theater critic Dorothy Parker once said, "no woman can be too rich or too thin," words that quickly became a catchphrase still used today. Many of us grow up learning to associate fat with ugliness and failure. Advertisements bombard us with thinner-than-normal models. Most Miss America contestants and fashion supermodels are more than fifteen percent below the expected weight for their height and age, a criterion for anorexia according to the American Psychiatric Association (Breen). It is not surprising to hear reports of healthy, children of normal weight who are concerned about their diet and afraid of becoming too fat, and of an increasing number of girls who haven't yet reached puberty who are showing signs of... ... middle of paper ... ...ill take care of it for them. Their mindset needs to be changed, so by taking these burdens off of their shoulders, they will have less to worry about and more time to concentrate on getting well. This whole process is very difficult and very time consuming but well worth it in the end. These victims are probably the most caring and selfless of anyone, and they need to realize this point. So in helping them do so, you need to show them how many people are there for them and how many people care them and want them to get better. Basically, the good feelings are going to try to overpower the negative mind, making it mute. In conclusion, eating disorders are treatable through proper care and therapy. It is not something to take lightly and needs to be treated as soon as possible. Though these disorders can be treated they will never be completely cured; they are more “under control” than anything. So just because a person may start to eat more does not mean that everything is over and should be forgotten. Right from the very beginning when it is first noticed that there is a problem, professional help should be sought out.
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