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Free Essays On Eating Disorders

Cause of Eating Disorders

In America, today we often hear of people who suffer from illness such as cancer, aids etc. what we often don’t hear about is the illness that effects a lot of people each year that being eating disorders. Whenever I hear about eating disorders it remains me of one of my cousin who had suffered from anorexia. It all started when her family and acquaintances started to say that she was fat and chubby. In her family everyone is very slim and tall so her brothers started teasing and calling her fatty and used to say that she need to loose weight otherwise nobody will marry her or even wants to be with her. She used to worry so much about her weight and wanted to loose weight. The only way she found for loosing weight was stop eating. She starved herself and lost couple of pounds. She was happy with the result and had great determination of loosing weight. Nobody noticed anything wrong until one day she was completely dehydrated and fainted at school. She was hospitalized for almost a week. But she got all the help and support that she needed from her Doctors, family and got better.

Eating disorders have become serious issues in the past 25 years. Many people have been diagnosed with eating disorders. More teens out of any other age groups suffer from it. Sports, body image, peer pressure and low self-esteem can cause teens to be driven to eating disorders. Anorexia and bulimia are the two main types of eating disorders. Anorexia is the self-starving behavior that can lead to severe health problems an even death. Bulimia is when a binge/ purge cycle is used or laxatives are used at an excessive amount. Anorexia and Bulimia affect persons thoughts and feelings as well as his or her body. For example, anorectics starve themselves to loose weight. Experts have described how anorectics seem incapable of seeing that they have lost weight. For example they might loose fifty pounds and still think they are too fat. They eat very little, if any at all, but most of them claim that they do not get hungry. It is a very dangerous and serious disease.

Sports are one of the factors that lead to eating disorders. Gymnasts and dancers have to maintain a small skinny frame. They tried to maintain or loose weight to a stay in shape. There are many other sports were athletes have eating disorders. Some examples are track, swimming, cross-country, youth football and other sports. In order to maintain their weight most of them eat less and they over exercise to keep them in shape.

Another cause of this sometimes-fatal disease has to do with body image and peer pressure. A person with eating disorder typically suffers from a body image disturbance that can impact many areas his or her life. Most women are given the message at a very young age that in order to be happy and successful, they must be thin. For example, every time you walk into a store you are surrounded by the images of emaciated models that appear on the front cover of all the fashion magazines. Thousands of teenage girls are starving themselves this very minute trying to attain what fashion industry considers to be the “ideal” figure. The average model weights less than an average woman does. Teenagers need to realize society’s ideal body image is not achievable. The photos we see in the magazines are not real either. For instance these photos have gone through many touch ups and have been airbrushed to make the models look perfect. With all these advertisement, teenagers are lead to believe that the only way they can be accepted in, is if they are thin. Peer pressure also has major role in teen eating disorders. Today’s society calls woman to be real skinny and a man to be thin and strong. Media also plays big role in eating disorders especially in teens. For example, teenagers watch shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Ally Mcbeal to feel they need to look as thin as this stars on these shows.

Low self-esteem is one of the other causes person turns to an eating disorder. Low self-esteem is when a person with eating disorder cannot be happy with any thing they do. Being over weight is hard to cope with in this day and age. Many teens get very depressed when they are over weight because people tease them they cannot fit in with the crowd. Sometimes even if a teenager is not overweight, they feel they must maintain their body size, so they can look like models. It is unfortunate, but in today’s society, people have forgotten that it is what inside a person that counts, not what’s on the outside.

In conclusion, we need to start loving and accepting each other for who we are, and not what we look like. We need to teach our children to be proud of whom they are. Parent’s needs to also teach our children the value of healthy leaving and not send the message that being thin is important. Family and peers need to support people with weight problems and not make them feel guilty about how they look.

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We live in an image conscious culture, which urges all of us (especially women) to improve our appearance. The messages sent by magazines, t.v., and other media include "buy certain clothes and products; straighten and whiten your teeth; get rid of your wrinkles; and most commonly, LOSE WEIGHT and you will be happy, admired, and loved." The recent and recurrent debate concerning the unhealthy, stick thin models used in the fashion industry is a perfect example of how strongly entrenched our notion of "thinness equals happiness" has become.

Although many of us would benefit from eating a bit less and exercising more in order improve our health and fitness, simply watching what you eat is NOT an eating disorder. Eating Disorders are potentially life-threatening illnesses which are simultaneously psychological and physical in nature. They are characterized by a range of abnormal and harmful eating behaviors which are accompanied and motivated by unhealthy beliefs, perceptions and expectations concerning eating, weight, and body shape. As a general characterization, individuals with eating disorders tend to have difficulty accepting and feeling good about themselves. They tend to think of themselves as "fat" and "ugly" because of their body size and shape, even when this self-judgment is objectively inaccurate and false. Identifying and defining themselves according to their perceived "fatness", eating disordered people tend to conclude that they are unacceptable and undesirable, and as a result, feel quite insecure and inadequate, especially about their bodies. For them, controlling their eating behaviors is the logical pathway in their quest for thinness.

The current article is designed to provide you with more information about the nature of eating disorders, their causes, potential treatments, and strategies for prevention. This information can be helpful in determining whether you or someone you love has an eating disorder. Before we begin, though, we want to stress two important points:

First, if you (or someone you love) have an eating disorder, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Between 5 and 10 million Americans have anorexia or bulimia and another 25 million suffer with binge eating disorder. Hopefully, knowing that other people have experienced what you are going through, and have gotten better with treatment, will provide you with some sense of hope.

Second, don't rely on your "willpower" to get over this condition. As mentioned previously, an eating disorder is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease. Between 6% and 20% of eating disordered individuals will literally die as a result of their disease. Seek PROFESSIONAL help for yourself or someone you love as soon as possible if you suspect there is a problem.

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