Eating disorder Essay

Submitted By katiehuettner
Words: 2320
Pages: 10

What comes to your mind when I say the word pretty? To many people, being skinny is one of the most important aspects of their appearance and it is one thing that is capable of making them pretty. But being skinny and being healthy are things that very often misunderstood. To get ready for the upcoming summer season I am sure some of you have been working out, watching what you eat, trying to reduce your clothing size and get rid of some of that extra chub around your hips. Good for you! But no matter if you start at a size 4 or a size 12, if you are a male or a female, you probably have a misperception about the difference between healthy and skinny and the way to achieve your weight goals. Unfortunately, we are constantly bombarded with pictures of models and movie stars whose motto seems to be “thinner is better”, we are showed very unrealistic views of what the human body should look like and we are held to an impossible standard. And of course, being only human, those images impact us greatly. So when we begin a weight loss and workout program, a lot of the time our expectations for where we should end up aren’t as healthy as they should be. Also many of us don’t realize that losing weight takes time, and the quicker you lose it the easier it is to put the weight back on. It is very important to inform the American population about healthy weight loss and that not all of our mottos have to be “thinner is better”.
The sad reality is that no matter how many health facts you shove into a persons brain, they aren’t always going to believe you and unfortunately not everybody cares. More often than you probably know, people resort to eating disorders as a way to lose weight faster. An eating disorder is an unhealthy relationship with food and weight that interferes with many areas of a person’s life. One’s thoughts become preoccupied with food, weight or exercise. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are the two main eating disorders (Curtis). Having an eating disorder doesn’t always mean that you think that you are fat, there are many other psychological reasons that cause one to resort to such an unhealthy life choice. People use food as a coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable or painful emotions or to help them feel more in control when feelings or situations seem over-whelming.
Before learning more about these disorders it is important to understand what each one is and how they relate to each other. A person with Anorexia may have an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. Someone with Anorexia may practice unhealthy behaviors such as restricting calories, only eating specific foods or skipping meals frequently. A person with Bulimia may also be intensely afraid of becoming fat or gaining weight. Someone with Bulimia may eat large amounts of food in a short period of time and then eliminate the food and calories by making themselves throw it back up. A person who suffers from Bulimia may also take diet pills, laxatives, or exercise excessively to purge weight or calories (ANAD). And of course, there are many fatal health effects with Anorexia and Bulimia. With Anorexia the process of starvation can affect most organ systems. Physical dangers include constipation, low heart rate/blood pressure, abdominal pain, dry skin, fine body hair and lack of menstrual periods. Anorexia also causes anemia, bone loss, kidney problems and changes in brain function. And with Bulimia, vomiting and laxative abuse can lead to swollen glands, vitamin and mineral imbalance and wearing down of tooth enamel. There also can be long-lasting problems with digestion and the heart (Eat Right).
Psychological factors also come into play when you are trying to understand why somebody would develop an eating disorder. Although every case is different, clinicians have noticed patterns in physiological issues with patients that have eating disorders. For Anorexia: fear of growing up, a need to please people and/or be liked by