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The Contribution Of Social, Cultural, And Family Environment To The Development Of Eating Disorders

2135 words - 9 pages

Analyse the extent to which the social, cultural and family environment may contribute to the development of eating disorders.

Eating disorders have been found through centuries of doctors records. Some as far back as the seventeenth century through Morton (1694) descriptions of the symptoms of eating disorders during this period in time. Despite this eating disorders were only formally known as a disorder until 1980 when it was published in the DSM and more recent editions have shown that there are two different forms of eating disorders which are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. This assignment will discuss how social, cultural and family environment can contribute to the development of these eating disorders and why these factors greatly contribute to the development of these illnesses.
The DSM V criteria of anorexia nervosa are refusal to maintain body weight, intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, disturbance in the way in which one sees their true body weight or shape, or denial of the seriousness of weight loss. The criteria for bulimia nervosa are, according to the DSM V, recurrent episodes of binge eating, recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors to avoid weight again, a minimum average of two episodes of binge eating and two inappropriate compensatory behaviours a week, self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight. Davis and Neale (2001) discovered that anorexia nervosa usually begins in the early to late teens and is ten times more frequent in women than men.According to Stirling and Hellewell (1999) In the UK it is believed that the disorder affects up to 1 percent of adolescent girls. However, the Eating Disorders Association (2000) reviewed that there are now more cases of men with cases of eating disorders which are up to ten percent and appears to be growing. Stirling and Hellewell discovered that bulimia is more common than anorexia which affects up to three percent of the population and tends to develop later than anorexia starting mostly in early adulthood.
Many studies have been made to observe how social environments can contribute to the development of eating disorders, BemIs (1978) believed that eating disorders arise from attempts by young women to conform to a stereotyped and unrealistic body shape that is shown in magazines, television, films and adverts aimed at young women. Bemys found that anorexia and bulimia are much more common in western societies where thinness is regarded as desirable. Ogden (1992) looked at how the ideal shape for women had become slimmer, the methods they used for the study was to see what the physical features of female fashion recruitments were in an agency in London between 1967 - 1987 and analyzed them. The researchers examined the models height, bust, waist and hip measurements in order to see which was commonly preferred in the fashion industry. After a twenty year period the results of the study showed that over...

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