As modern society becomes more and more advanced and developed, the ideal standard of beauty has seemed to change as well. The shape of a person is one of the most important factors defining the term “beauty.” Nowadays, a skinny body is more likely to be considered a perfect one. More and more people try to lose weight to get a skinny body by many ways, such as avoiding food or over exercising. According to National Eating Disorder Organization, “In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million male are fighting a life and death battle with eating disorders including anorexia or bulimia. Millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder.” Apparently, eating disorders have become serious public health problems with many dangers, even causing mortality. By being conscious of eating disorders, we can understand more how to prevent them and help patients to treat each type of disorders, because no one should die from them.
Although people are sometimes concerned about their weight, a person who suffers from an eating disorder is generally obsessed about weight, food or the fear of fatness. The most three common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. First of all, based on “Nutrition and Well-being A to Z,” Karen Ansel defines that anorexia nervosa is the condition in which a person tries to reduce their food intake to maintain an abnormally low body weight. The person with anorexia nervosa generally has a body weight about ten percent lower than the average. He or she also has the fear of being overweight even though in fact it is the opposite. Second, bulimia nervosa is the condition in which a person usually eats an irregular large amount of food then tries to get rid of it afterwards by vomiting, exercising or even using pills or drugs to make a bowel movement. The third type is binge eating disorder, which shares some characteristics with bulimia nervosa. Like a bulimic, a person with binge eating disorder usually consumes large quantities of food, but after that he or she does not try to get rid of it, so that the bodies of many sufferers often are fat or portly. The patients with binge eating disorder usually feel shame, awkwardness or “loss of self-control,” which is similar to bulimia nervosa. In the article “Eating disorders: Crisis time,” Jenifer A Smith pointed out that “eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, and a suicide rate that is 50 times higher than that of the general population.”
Millions of people now are suffering from eating disorders, and these are only the numbers reported to doctors. There are many more people who have had these diseases but have not recognized it yet because of feelings of shame or awkwardness. Yet, eating disorders contain many risks and effects. Based on the National Institute of Mental Health website, patients with anorexia disorder seems to have dangerous health consequences. Moreover, the rate of death is ten times more than people without the disease. Also, the article report that those with anorexia “have coexisting psychiatric and physical illnesses, including depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, substance abuse, cardiovascular and neurological complication, and impaired physical development.” Because these patients eat an unusual amount of food which is much lower in nutrition and quantity than needed, time passes, other risks appear. Lack of calcium for bone development will result in osteopenia or osteoporosis. Hair and nails become weak and easy to break, especially causing loss of hair. Skin turns to yellow and very rough. Downy hair which is called “lanugo” appears all over the body and even the face to help keep warm during periods of starvation and malnutrition,” as Beth W. Orenstein explains in the article “The Dangers of Eating Disorders.” Also, there are not only risks for heart failure, low blood pressure, and breathing problems,