Eating Disorders

The Dangers of Eating Too Much or Too Little From the younger ages of five and six images are shown to us as to what we SHOULD look like. From TV, to Barbie and Ken, to the models we see in the magazines. Why is it becoming more and more common for a younger child to “diet” and be concerned with their weight? And why does it only get worse as they get older. Could it possibly be that we’re watching mommy and daddy and what they eat and don’t eat? What they will and won’t allow themselves to do?

Eating disorders are nothing more than a psychological disorder where the mind is trying to seemingly destroy the ody. But what exactly is characterized as an eating disorder? (Fairburn. ) Anorexia Nervosa is known to be the most talked about disorder. This disorder mostly affects women in their late teens and early 20s. An anorexic person is known as a person that simply refuses to eat. (Lien). Individuals who suffer from this disorder often see things about themselves that is not present such as extra body fat that is not there.

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In order to be classified as an anorexic, a person must meet the following criteria; not be able to maintain a healthy weight, being incredibly afraid of aining weight even though they are underweight, be in denial of one’s condition and current state of body and finally, for women, amenorrhea must be present, which is the absence of three or more consecutive menstrual cycles. (Lien. ) But sometimes the problem isn’t eating too LITTLE, it’s eating too much. Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder in which the individual eats copious amounts of food (bingeing) and then disposes of said food by either vomiting or abusing laxatives. Brake. ) The common signs of Bulimia tend to be someone that eats lots of food in a short period of time with no sense of control. Also, a person that is very secretive about long period spent in the bathroom during and after meals is also a big warning sign. Bulimia is a very dangerous disorder because of the constant vomiting and abuse of laxatives take a major toll on your body. Side effects could include hair thinning or loss, rapture of the esophagus, a slow irregular pulse, cardiac arrest and many more. (Brake. ) Bulimia and Anorexia may be the two most common or “talked about” eating disorders but there are definitely others.

One of the others includes Anorexia Athletica. This is when a person is wholly consumed by over exercising and counting calories and fat. This disorder is usually seen in younger athletes such as pre- professional and elite athletes. Most believe that their self-worth is determined by how they look and how they perform in whatever sport they play. (Lien. ) Because of all the calories and fat that they restrict themselves from these athletes could cause major health deficiencies to themselves such as decreased bone density.

As this is a disorder, most do not believe that it is a problem so therefore it goes unnoticed and he problem only gets worse and persists. Another eating disorder that is usually under the radar is called Night Eating. at night time. Although it is not as common as sleepwalking, it sometimes happens while a person is sleepwalking causing them to have no recollection of ever eating. The less serious version of this is when a person is fully aware that they get up to eat, but the individual cannot go back to sleep unless they eat. In order to be characterized as a person with NES; Nocturnal Eating Syndrome, (Chanin. one must have the following criteria… Have little or no appetite for breakfast, eat more after dinner than at the actual meal, constant awakenings that require them to eat in order to go back to sleep and eating more than half their foods intake at night time. Seeing as though the person is not necessarily starving or over eating most don’t believe it to be a disorder. But as others look at it, it’s one need, interfering with another; sleep and eating. Also, because of the sometimes unawareness and lack of exercise after eating, obesity becomes a very common side effect to Night Eating. The last disorder that goes unnoticed is Orthorexia.

Orthorexia is defined as having an obsession with eating healthy. (Bratman. ) This disorder was first recognized in the 90s and has since then gained steam, As an Orthorexic, an individual focuses too much on eating healthy which in turn makes them unhealthy. Too much of any one thing is bad for anybody. Unless a food is considered organic or whole a typical Orthorexic will not touch it. Signs of someone with Orthorexia include; heavy feelings of anxiety when around food that is not considered pure or organic. Anything processed could be a major anxiety builder for people who suffer with this isorder.

Orthorexia could also be a predecessor to Anorexia. Eating Disorders are not to be taken lightly. They are not conditions that simply go away over night or that can be fixed in a couple of days. People living with Eating Disorders have turned it into their life and are comfortable within that lifestyle. There are warning signs for ever kind of disease. Never ignore the signs. Do not be ignorant to the fact that these disorders are latching onto people at younger and younger ages because of the media and the need to be perfect. Eating Disorders are serious and should be treated as such.


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