To Eat Or Not To Eat

1634 words - 7 pages

"Eleven million women and one million men suffer from eating disorders" (Mosley 29), and "at least nine out of ten eating disorder sufferers are female" (Sohn 46). The causes of all these people having these issues vary from their own self image to others telling them that they are overweight. Males and females all over the United States have struggled with body image throughout their lives. The messages on television and in magazines aimed at all ages make it seem that society only accepts slender builds, causing many to do drastic things such as throw up what they are eating or else not eat at all.There are many solutions, however, to the growing problem of eating disorders. Author Benita Mosley believes that being an athlete will reduce the chance of getting an eating disorder, and she relays that in "Striking the Balance". USA Today published a story that supports that same idea called "College Athletes are Healthier Than Most". Another point is made by Dr. Jennifer O'Dea, where she published in Primary Educator an article called "Activities to Improve Body Image and Prevent Eating Problems in Children". She explains that schools can get involved to help young children before a problem starts. Along with her, Stephanie Nugent states ways that teachers can help perfectionist children so that they don't end up with eating disorders in "Perfectionism: Its Manifestations and Classroom Based Interventions". Finally, parents can get involved, which is looked at in "The Hunger Artists", by Emily Sohn. If parents are setting a good example for their kids, then they won't feel the pressure of being a certain weight. Athletics, schools and parents are just a few solutions to this growing problem that have proven successful over the years.One way to pull kids away from such horrible habits are through athletics. "Sport can actually act as a deterrent to eating disorders because they benefit from higher than average levels of self-esteem" (Mosley 29). Women have expressed feeling more cheerful and energetic when they exercise, even stating that they are "happier with their health in general" (Mosley 29). Being athletic allows people of all ages to do something enjoyable while staying fit at the same time. Children in organized sports will also learn discipline and respect from their coaches. College is a place where many people gain weight, but the athletes have so little free time that they don't stress about their image as much as others might (USA Today 11). "The fittest people on campus are probably this group of student athletes" (USA Today 11).My opinion on this solution is that it may be true, but only in some cases. Certain sports will make you feel great about your body, however, others will cause more stress. In sports such as gymnastics, wrestling, and running, staying at a low body weight makes all the difference in the world. After being a gymnast for almost fifteen years, I worry about what I look like when I get up in front of thousands of...

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