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Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa, And Bulimia Nervosa

904 words - 4 pages

"Dieting clearly has costs and, for some, has the potential for benefit; hence, it is important to distinguish dieting in individuals who are not overweight from those whose weight increases medical or psychosocial risks." (Brownell and Robin). Eating disorders are more common today than ever in history. Hunger is an internal, biological need but external, environmental forces also impact the way people feel about hunger. There have been many studies done on the stomach suggesting that the more the stomach contracts, hungrier the individual will feel. The relationship between hunger and blood chemistry has also been studied. It was initially thought that low glucose levels caused hunger but now it is known that the more glucose is used up (the uptake) will provide a feeling of satisfaction causing the individual to feel less hungry. The brain has also been studied. They have suggested that the lateral hypothalamus stimulates eating and the feeling hunger while that ventromedial hypothalamus creates feeling of satisfaction and signals the individual to stop eating. Studies on cultural factors have led to the conclusion that an individual's culture is the most influential external factors in causing eating disorders.Anorexia nervosa is self-imposed starvation followed by extreme weight loss. It is defined as and eating disorder seen mostly in adolescent and young adult females, in which a severe loss of weight results from an obsessive fear of obesity and self-imposed starvation. It is characterized by and overwhelming fear of becoming obese, disturbed body image and the use of dangerous measures to lose weight. The fear of being overweight does not disappear with severe weight loss. The individual's body image becomes so distorted that even a skeletal figure is looked upon as overweight. Many people with anorexia can refuse to eat or take up extreme exercise regimens to burn off any extra calories. The effects of anorexia are devastating. These include: malnutrition, bone fractures, osteoporosis, and ceased menstruation in women, enlarged cavities and widened grooves in the brain. Enlarged cavities and widened grooves in the brain often signify the loss of brain tissue, body weight below eighty-five percent of normal for one's height and age, intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight even though underweight, disturbance in one's body image or perceived weight, self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body weight, and denial of seriousness of abnormally low body weight. A significant number of individuals diagnosed with anorexia nervosa die of the deadly disorder. Seek professional help if you or anyone you know is suffering from this disorder.Bulimia nervosa has many of the same causes and effects that anorexia has. It is defined as and eating disorder in which enormous quantities of food are consumed (binges)...

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