Eating Disorders

1932 words 8 pages
Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are sweeping this country and are rampant on junior high, high school, and college campuses. These disorders are often referred to as the Deadly Diet, but are often known by their more popular names: anorexia or bulimia. They affect more than 20% of females between the age of thirteen and forty. It is very rare for a young female not to know of someone with an eating disorder. Statistics show that at least one in five young women have a serious problem with eating and weight (Bruch, 25).

The Deadly Diet appears to be a mostly female problem. Eating disorders are most common in the middle to upper middle class families. Currently, the incidence is much lower in females from the "blue collar"
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The faster-purger will throw up her food or take laxatives even while only allowing 500 calories into her body a day. This devastating combination is what most often kills the Deadly Dieter.

Fasting-Binging. This is the most frustrating category, because the person will often go on a "normal" diet for as long as six months. After staying at a reasonable weight for a period of time, she will go on a binge, which can last another six months. During this time she will put on as much as 100 pounds. Most people involved in this person's life insist that she has the "willpower" to eat properly. Unfortunately, this attitude only confuses the issues. The person has the same problem with eating and weight as the other four types of Deadly Dieter-it just looks different on the outside.

The mental health community has defined two of the five types of Deadly Diet: anorexia and bulimia. "The official definition of anorexia consists of five components:

1. An intense fear of becoming obese, which does not diminish as weight loss progresses

2. Disturbance of body image, or claiming to "feel fat" even when emaciated

3. Weight loss of at least twenty-five percent of original body weight

4. Refusal to maintain body weight over a normal weight for age and height

5. No known physical illness that would account for the weight loss

The official definition of bulimia is also composed of five parts:



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