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The Development Of Eating Disorders Essay

1926 words - 8 pages

“In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, more than those suffering with HIV/AIDS” (Costin 23). A growing number of teenagers are unhappy with their bodies so they turn to eating disorders. Eating disorders involve dramatic changes in eating habits and are very serious and potentially fatal. The results of eating disorders affect biological, psychological, and even cultural factors. Eating disorders affect more people than we think, they can be traced back to ancient times, as they have become more common, especially in teenagers we are finally able to better understand ...view middle of the document...

In these times, girls were expected to stay home after childhood so there was no need for an education. They did not have much of a social life and based their marriages on the ability to raise their family’s social status. Women did not have much say in what went on in their lives, and since showing their emotions was not allowed, they turned to not eating to show their anger. Since the women would not eat very much they later would become very ill, making them the center of attention in their families. Women grew to enjoy this attention.
According to “Eating Disorders,” nowadays eating disorders usually affect people between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. This is because the teenager is changing emotionally and physically. They are also starting to face academic pressure and peer pressure. Teenagers with eating disorders usually have other issues such as anxiety or depression. They may also face other mental health problems such as OCD. Some studies even show that eating disorders may even run in families (“Eating Disorders” 2).

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Teenagers are very sensitive; especially when it comes to their body. During the teenage years, bodies are constantly changing making it understandable why teenagers may dislike their body sometimes. Social media is constantly giving teenager false hope on what their bodies are supposed to look like leading them to try and change them. This leads to depression, anxiety and even eating disorders.
Recent studies show that from 1999 to 2006, eating disorders rose by one hundred nineteen percent among children under twelve years old, thirty seven percent among men and eighteen percent among men in general. Eighty percent of ten year old are afraid of being fat and forty two percent of all first through third grade girls want to be thinner (Heimbrod 187-188). Eating disorders, especially anorexia and bulimia, are so common in today’s teens because society has built up this image for teens to strive for that it impossible to reach.
Anorexia begins when a teenager becomes unhappy with their body and tries to lose weight. An anorexic teenager will starve themselves in order to lose this weight. “Anorexia is a condition characterized by significant weight loss due to a purposeful attempt to stop eating” (“It Won’t Happen to Me” 1). Anorexics will restrict the amount of food intake so much that their body is no longer able to maintain a healthy weight. The teenager may be so afraid of gaining weight that they will still consider themselves fat even when they are at the point of being able to see their bones. This may start off as a simple diet, but after seeing small results they will continue to push their weight to a lower number. Eventually, this becomes an obsession. Anorexic teenagers become obsessed with trying to control what they eat so much that they focus only on planning meals, dieting, and losing weight. This forces them to isolate themselves

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from friends, family, and even their...

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