Eating Too Much Or Not At All: Eating Disorders Found In Youth

1794 words - 8 pages

An ongoing issue that continues to plague schools today is a silent yet catastrophic illness known to many as Eating Disorders. What many people do not realize that not only are there several sub-strands of eating disorders, but these can include either over eating or not eating at all. The following two articles presented will proceed to offer a glimpse into the reality of both sides of this particular mental illness.
In a study reported by Brenna K. Wood and Timothy F. Flanagan entitled: 'Increasing In-School Food Consumption of an Elementary Student with Emotional/Behavioural Disorders: A Case Study' they proceed to delve into the life of Michelle, an 8 year old third grader with a unique eating habit, who was not discovered until later on to have been diagnosed with Severe Anxiety Disorder and Mood Disorder. Michelle would refuse to eat or drink at school, no matter how unrelenting her peers and teachers were. She would sit for the entire lunch period all by herself while closely monitored by a nearby teaching assistant. Curiously enough, when Michelle would go home at the end of the day, she would occasionally accept food or drink in the presence of her mother (who remains nameless.) When Michelle is left home alone, she takes this opportunity and proceeds to binge and stuff herself full of unhealthy foods and her preferred drinks. The real problem occurred when Michelle's mother either tried to take this food away from her daughter, or did not purchase Michelle's favourite food before she got home. Tantrums would ensue followed by kicking, screaming, crying and other such violent behavioural actions. The mother would try to curb these fits of feasting by placing locks on the fridge and cupboards in order to teach Michelle a lesson. Despite the awkward meal arrangements and their times of occurrence, Michelle was never technically classified as underweight.
Alternatively, another perspective of eating disorders is discussed in the National Post with writer Sharon Kirkey's work: 'School-based ‘healthy living’ programs triggering eating disorders in some children: Canadian study.' In Canadian schools that are firmly promoting and enforcing obesity-prevention programs, studies have shown that these programs may be doing more harm than good. Several students are reported to have been discovered to be malnourished due to not following the regulations set before them, or even taking the rules one step further to maximize their weight-loss. For the former example, students were found to be severely restricting their food intake by cutting out all of the 'bad' foods that they had been warmed against eating. Unfortunately, some began to cut out necessity items as well such as dairy and meat thinking them to be one of the listed 'bad' foods. In regards to the latter example of the students who take the 'extra step,' this is done through taking up extra curricular sports and work out schedule as well as only eating chicken and certain fruits and...

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