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History of Eating Disorders and Interventions

Abstract

Eating disorders are one of the fastest growing mental illnesses in America.  There are currently three forms of eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating. Anorexia is starving the body of food and healthy nutrients to lose weight, and loss of body fat due to body dysmorphia or stress.  Bulimia is where one will binge eat then immediately forcefully -purge. This paper will investigate eating disorders and how can it be treated and how a cure can one day be found.

History of anorexia

The fastest growing and the first disorder to be placed in the Diagnostic and Statistics of Mental Disorders was anorexia. It made its entry into the manual in 1952. Through history anorexia was known for its religious participation. One believed if the body was starved for periods of time then blessings would be received. In many cases the more life seemed to be stressed and hard was the more the follower would fast. However, the earliest medical descriptions of anorexic illness are credited to physician Richard Morton in 1869. In 1873 one of Queen Victoria’s personal physicians published a paper which established the name anorexia nervosa with numerous cases and treatments (Gordon, 2000). Later, in the year a French physician Earnest Charles Laseque published details of similar cases in his paper entitled De l’Anorexic Hysterique (Hepworth, 1999). This condition was very limited to only medical profession until the 20th century when psychoanalyst Hilde Bruch published her work The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa in 1978. This book created a greater awareness to this disorder to the readers. Another important mile stone for this disorder is the death of pop singer Karen Carpenter in 1983. This spread wide media coverage of the disorder.

Causes of Anorexia

There is not just one answer or a simple answer to the cause of anorexia. It is a very complex condition that stems from a combination of social, emotional and biological factors. Although society and media play a strong role in our cultures focus on thinness. There are many other key factors, including emotional difficulties, low self-esteem and traumatic experiences you may had to deal with. There are many risk factors including body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, perfectionism, history of sexual abuse, strict dieting (Neda, 2011).There is eight times more likely of anorexia when relative have a history of as well. There is belief that a female that has at least one sibling with this disorder that is 10 or 20 times more chance of receiving (Eating Disorders help & treatment, 2014). I can also appear in families with a history of depression or alcohol abuse. Families with those diagnosed anorexia show to be more overprotective and rigid. Patients tend to struggle for independence since the family tend to suffocate the patient. Adolescents with family members who value on looks and thinness or critizing the child’s appearance can be a beginning factor to start of the disorder. Sports that require a certain look or small slender size like modeling, ballet are also a factor. Mental disorders may also factor in to developing anorexia nervosa. Disorders like obsessive- compulsive, narcissistic personality also depression (Anorexia Nervosa , 2011).

Signs of Anorexia

Although this disease can be very hard to recognize or diagnose there are several signs that one needs to be alerted of if signs are seen.

Extreme dieting despite being thin- Eating only certain low-calorie foods. Following a severe restricted diet. Banning foods such as carbohydrate and fats.

Obsession with calories, nutrition- weighing all food portions, maintaining a food diary, following diet books very closely.

Lying or pretending to eat- playing with food on plate or throwing pieces away to keep from eating. Making numerous excuses not to eat (I don’t feel good or I had a huge lunch).

Dramatic weight loss– Rapid or extreme weight loss but there is no answer for it.

Denial of how thin they truly are- The patient may steadily deny that the low body weight is the problem even to the point of wearing oversized clothes and drinking extreme amounts of water before getting on a scale.

Fixated on their image- Obsessed and fixated on body shape, clothing and weight. Any fluctuations in weight cause extreme distress (Anorexia Nervosa , 2011).

Research on anorexia

There is approximately 30 in America that suffer with an eating disorder. Estimated there is a death every 62 seconds from a direct eating disorder. The highest mortality rate of all mental illness is eating disorders. In a large national college study, 3.5% of minority women and 2.1% of minority men and 16% of transgender college students all reported having at least one eating disorder. (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders ) In 2007 a study took 9,282 Americans about several mental health disorders, including eating disorders. They published the results in the Biological Psychiatry, in the 0.9% of women and of the 0.3% had some sort of eating disorder in their lives. Researchers then followed a group of girls of 496 adolescent girls for a total of 8 years until the age of 20.  It was found that out of the 496 of the girls 5.2% of them met the DSM5 criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. When other nonspecific criteria were looked at there was a total of 13.2% of all the girls had also suffered by the age 20. Anorexia is the third most common chronic disease among adolescents after asthma and type 1 diabetes. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 with eating disorders have 10 times the risk of dying compared to their same aged peers. In this total 25% would represent the male population with anorexia nervosa. Since the male population are usually diagnosed later since many people do not assume that males develop eating disorders. Recently, eating disorders are showing symptoms earlier in both females and males (Anorexia statistics , 2011).

Effects of Anorexia

Even though anorexia is shown to be a physiological disorder, it can still affect every system in the human body. Malnutrition and dehydration can occur with the dramatic weight loss and emaciation. When there is a lack of essential nutrients and energy the body will result in electrolyte disturbances hypokalemia (low blood potassium) and hyponatremia (low blood sodium). When there is an electrolyte disturbance in the body it can cause irregular heartbeats, heart arrhythmias, and even heart attacks (disorders, 2010).

The heart is essentially the main organ in the body it controls all blood flow of the body, it is still not the only organ in the cardiovascular system affected with anorexia. Blood itself may also be affected. Patients may be starting bruising easily. One can have low red blood cells or abnormal red blood cells with impaired oxygen- carrying capacity. In addition, to others low blood pressure, with dizziness and fainting (Anorexia effects on the heart, Oct 2014).

Another system that is affected is the digestive system. The stomach will shrink in size, causing pain for the patient to reintroduce food into the body. There will also be stomach pains and bloating, constipation. Further effects of anorexia can affect the kidneys, one can develop kidney stones and even kidney failure.  When we look at all the systems targeted by anorexia the endocrine system is hit the hardest. The hormones in the body can go through changes the Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), and Follicle- Stimulating Hormone (FSH) can cause disappearance in the menstrual in females (Baskaran C1, 2017). The sex hormones in the patient can also be affected and cause changes and up to low sex drive in male and females and even impotence in males. Even if a woman becomes pregnant while the anorexia is active, miscarriage risk is very high and an increased rate of low birth weight (Anorexia Nervosa , 2015).

There is also chances of the nervous system being affected by the anorexia. It may cause slow mentation, inability to focus and depressed attention span. The skin and nails, bone can also start to be affected. One will start to notice loss of hair, the nails become brittle breaking away with the easiest movement. In an anorexia patient there can also be discoloration of the nails and swelling of the joints. In addition, to the skin there may be a coating of hair all over the body this is called lanugo. This will start in attempt for the body to continue homeostasis (Norvous system, 2010).

However, the damaging physical effects there is also psychological effects that may occur. People with this disorder are often show high signs of depression, irritability, fatigue and mood swings. The person can also have experiences of anxiety and a very strong relationship with food and exercise. There can also be very black and white thinking around the body image and the size of the body.  One will always feel fat and always deny how thing they really are. Anorexia affects include perfectionism, body dysmorphia, low self-esteem (Anorexia statistics , 2011).

(Treatment for Anorexia , 2014)  Treatment of Anorexia

         Treatment of anorexia can usually be a process of supervised slower weight gain. It can also include talking therapy. If there is an extreme amount of weight loss, then treatment as soon as possible is critical to reduce serious risk. There is also different treatment for patients under 18 and for adults.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a treatment that usually is weekly sessions that can last up to 40 weeks or 9 to 10 months. For the first two or three weeks there will be two sessions a week. This form of therapy involves talking to a therapist who works side by side with the patient to create a personalized plan. The therapist will help a client cope with the feelings of not eating, understanding the starvation and importance of nutrition or food choices. The therapist will teach techniques, so the client can start practicing on their own, then show them their progress. Teach different techniques to manage strong difficult feelings. There can sessions of role play to make sure the individual sticks to their new healthy eating habits (Treatment for Anorexia , 2014).

   Mantra anorexia nervosa treatment for adults (MANTRA)

          Mantra focuses on talking to understand and show the patient what is causing them to have this disorder. It focuses solely on what is the goal and important to the patient. With this therapy it helps one to start to change their behaviors when they feel ready. They will be offered 20 sessions, it is important that the first 10 sessions are weekly (Treatment for Anorexia , 2014).

Intensive outpatient (IOP) eating disorder treatment

             This treatment is for men or women who will remain in school or work but need more support than that of outpatient treatment. At this level of treatment, the patient may meet up to two to five days a week. The treatment will be a plan of nutrition planning and consultation, also individual therapy. There will be also be sessions of family support groups, and topic-focused groups.

Inpatient hospital treatment

               This is 24 hour a day care in a medical hospital setting. The focus in this treatment is medical stabilizing and to stop the weight loss. The patient usually stays typically 3 weeks. Once they have shown to be stabilized they are discharged to resident treatment care.

Resident eating disorder treatment

This is a more intense level of care; the patient is monitored for 24-hour live in care. They will receive constant medical supervision to be effective in monitoring medical conditions. This level of treatment is very structured, allowing a setting that focuses on the patient healing not only physically but psychological. Everything they could need is in one central location (Eating Disorders help & treatment, 2014).

Overcoming Anorexia

                  According to statistics from Anorexia Nervosa and related eating disorders, Inc, an estimated 20% of people with serious disorders die. While an estimated of 2-3% of patients die with treatment. These estimated numbers are huge and can show just how crucial professional treatment can be for an individual. Statistics are showing mortality rates with treatment that only 60% of patients show a complete recovery and have a full healthy life. There is an estimated 20% can show a partial recovery where they can maintain a job and hold a relationship. But the patient’s life will remain very focused on food and how low they can maintain their weight. This percentage of patients will also show other medical health problems. Then there is the final 20% of patients, they will remain dangerously underweight. They will frequently be in emergency rooms, eating disorder facilities. It is currently the highest death rate for any mental illness. Between 1999 to 20006 eating disorders have increased over 100% in children under 12 (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders ).

                                         How common are eating disorders?

                This study included a national sample of 36,306 adults. The data came from the 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on alcohol and related conditions. The participants were asked to answer a structured interview. The interviews allowed the researchers to give an estimated number for various eating disorders (Anorexia , 2018).

Anorexia

  • 0.80% of adults meet some sort of the criteria for anorexia at some point in their lives.
  • Non-minority adults are extremely less likely whites to develop anorexia in their lifetime.
  • 0.5% experience anorexia in any 12-month period.

                          Bulimia

  • 0.28% of adults will meet the criteria for bulimia at some point in their lives.
  • 0.14% adults will experience bulimia in any 12-month period
  • 12 month and lifetime rates do not really differ by race or ethnicity

Binge eating (BED)

  • 0.85 % of adults will meet the criteria for binge eating at some point in their lives.
  • 0.44% will experience in any 12-month given period
  • The life time numbers are significantly lower for black than Hispanic adults.

The study showed that even though eating disorders are common, the rates for females are much higher than in men. The researchers were expected to find much higher numbers in binge eating and bulimia. The numbers had decreased in the two. Anorexia seemed to show the same results as other surveys. Researchers believe that there needs to be more studies and research put into eating disorders and the findings (Anorexia , 2018).

Life after treatment

              Anorexia is a mental disorder that just does not heal. It is the black monster that is always in the room. One just learns to make healthy choices and recognize triggers and to deal with them as they happen. One of the side effects of an eating disorder is calorie counting. A patient can look at a plate of food, do a mental calorie count and decide if they are eating it or not. A patient can fully recover from anorexia, but it will require the patient to always following and working on tools to build self-confidence. Hopefully, with the more research and focus that is put on this eating disorder, the more we can help these patients lead a healthy and productive lifestyle (Eating disorder hope, 2011).

 

Bulimia

Bulimia is a mental disorder and can also be a severe life-threatening disorder. This disorder is defined as an ingestion of abnormally large amounts of food in a very short time frame. This engorge will be followed by an attempt to avoid the weight gain by purging back out. Different methods of purging are vomiting, excessive laxatives and diuretics, and or long periods of exercising. Often during one of these episodes the patient can experience loss of control and will act franticly to undo these feelings.

History of bulimia

                   Throughout time there has been references to suggest eating disorders, like a lot of illness have been affecting people before we understood them. There has been references that Egyptians have described purging every month, they looked diseases that affected them came from the food they ate. Since in the middle age people did not understand disease in that time era, purging was a remedy (Deans, 2011).

For long periods of time eating disorders have existed and have been worldwide. It has been thought to a be a medical disease, and brutal medical practices. “Obsessions et la Psychasthenie” woman who binges in secret as quoted by Pierre Janet in the early 1900’s. The first actual clinical documents with bulimia was the paper that was published in 1979.It resulted from research of students at normal north American universities overeating and causing self-induced purging. Those findings are still used with research today, where it seems that the idea of the romans have made a way to the students today (Pub Med, 1985).

Causes of bulimia

                    Even though the exact reasons or causes are unknown currently for bulimia. There are many risk factors that can lead to this disorder. There has been signs of chemical imbalances in the brain, as well as social, emotional, environment as well as perfectionism. There can be up to 50% risk of developing an eating disorder with a strong family component with this illness. In fact, in a family with a parent or a mother with an eating disorder the daughter has at least a four times higher chance of developing this disorder. Another huge risk factor is life events (Eating disorder hope , 2006). If a person has an history of experiencing being bullied, physical, emotional abuse. Sexual abuse or rape is another huge factor to the progression of eating disorders. Social images and values can show an unhealthy image about weight and image especially towards young females. If a person has low self-esteem and a negative image they may result to extreme measures to save the image they have created for their selves. They may have severe diet restrictions as well as binging and purging (Bulimia Nervosa, 1985).

Signs of bulimia

                      There are numerous signs that an individual can recognize and if educated can spot and get the person help or talk to them, so they recognize the dangers. If a person is consuming large amounts of food in very short period. Then they may force purge (making yourself vomit). Patients will also restrict calories, or fast, over exercise use laxatives or diuretics. One may also see repeated trips to the bathroom during and after meals (Eating disorder hope).

 

                                                Symptoms to look for in bulimia

  • If there is binge eating more than once a week
  • Force purging more than once a week. It is described at self-induced vomiting, laxative, diuretic abuse
  • There may be low to abnormal labs this can also include electrolyte abnormalities.
  • One may start to show signs of swelling in the jaw or cheek area.
  • They may start to show signs of calluses on the back of the hands or knuckles (from self-induced vomiting).
  • The teeth may start to be discolored, stained or even start to break or become brittle from the forced vomit (Eating disorder hope).

Effects of bulimia on the patient

         When a person puts frequent cycles of purging and binging on the body it causes severe stress on the body. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness a human heart is not made to withstand laxative use or the act of daily vomiting. When a person has repeated vomiting, there is yellowing of the teeth, that leads to erosion, mouth sensitivity and eventually tooth decay (Bullimia signs and effects, 2001). In most female’s bulimia causes fertility issues. When a person repeatedly binges, the stomach starts to increase which allows the patient to eat more, but however the body does have a limit. In truly exceptional cases the binges have caused rips in the stomach lining and allows the stomach acid to leak over into the rest of the body often with fatal results. One may also start to have stomach pains and very painful stomach problems due to the forceful vomiting. Very commonly gastric reflux and inflamed of the esophagus is problem with people with bulimia. There is a chance of gastroparesis which is defined as a partial paralzation of the stomach muscles. It is also important to remember once you overcome the disorder that the health issues do not disappear. For example, one can still suffer from gastroparesis many years after the last cycle. There can also mental health issues due to this disorder the may include depression, anxiety, fear of gaining weight, shame and low self-esteem (Bullimia signs and effects, 2001).

Treatment of bulimia

              The first step and the most important is getting the patient safe and medically stable. If an patient vomits multiple times a day the body will train itself to automatically purge after any intake of food. When one is in impatient medical treatment then the reflex is managed under very close watchful eye of the drs. This staff will ensure the body will receive the correct chemical balances in the body to do a healthy detox as possible. If the patient is severely underweight from the binging, then before the treatment will begin a feeding tube must be placed in. Just like the other eating disorders bulimia therapy includes group and personal therapy sessions (Eating Disorders help & treatment, 2014). Bulimia and binge eating therapy focuses on food related topics. The dietician will develop meal plans and teach the client new healthy recipes and techniques for healthy eating. In some facilities there may be a kitchen, so the patient can learn to prepare their own dishes (Treatment for bulimia).

Psychotherapy for bulimia

                   The most common treatment with the greatest research support is psychotherapy. This form of treatment can have huge financial and time commitment. This can go on for lengthy periods of time if the patient is suffering with other issues (sexual abuse, depression, relationship problems). This form of treatment can address and underlying emotional and or cognitive issues that caused the result of the eating disorder (Treatment for bulimia).

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy

            CBT is the treatment of choice for bulimia patients. It is a time-limited and approach that helps a person understand the negative thinking and the negative self-talk, self-image can directly affect the eating disorder. This treatment will directly focus on identifying and altering dysfunctional thoughts the patients has. These thoughts, patterns, attitudes that the patient has may trigger or perpetuate the pattern of eating disorders. CBT can focus on traditional foundations of cognitive therapy. It will focus change with the irrational thoughts and help the patient understand and identify the behaviors. The patient will make real changes through promoting healthy eating behaviors with goal setting and rewards. This is the gold standard of treatment for bulimia.  This therapy is time limited, meaning the patient will go into treatment for specific period with specific goals to achieve. They will also learn new ways to fight the urge or triggers that cause the purge (Bulimia Nervosa, 1985) .

 

                                            Overcoming bulimia

Bulimia statistics show that relapse is very common with patients approximately 30-50% of the patient’s relapse. Suicide is also a very common death in bulimia patients. This data is solely from the data from death certificates in the United States that put this data as the cause of death. There are also other health causes put as the reason instead of the eating disorder. The best hope for lifetime recovery without having lifetime medical problems is early medical aggressive intervention. The chances of a relapse or the disorder returning is very high. This disorder will never leave a patient, one just learns a healthy lifestyle and control weight in a healthy manner. The disorder is always with a patient and can cause a flare up when it is least expected or when the patient’s life is unbalanced or over stressed. The therapy can teach the patient to recognize the triggers and manage the stress, so they do not fall back into a bad pattern again (Bulimia Nervosa, 2010).

 

                                            Binge Eating

The third form of eating disorder s binge eating. A patient will gorge on thousands of calories and enormous amounts of food then exercise for numerous hours to try to burn off all the calories. Unlike bulimia the patient will not purge to remove the food or calories. In many cases the patient will not even realize that they have ate that many calories until it has already happened. Then the overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame start, and they tend to exercise for many hours to stop the weight gain or feelings of guilt (Deans, 2011).

                                    History of binge eating

When one is looking back through the history of binge eating disorder. There is not an exact timeline of when it became mainstream, but it has been suggested it has been around for many years. According to psychiatrist Dr. Emily Deans binge eating which is very closely associated with bulimia was first described in the early middle ages by some of the wealthy class. Deprivation of food, fasting for spiritual or religious reasons was also common in early cultures, suggesting that eating disorders could have been as early as the 12th and 13th century., yet solid reference to binge eating in general is lacking. During the 1970 and 1980’s anorexia and bulimia was receiving heavy reconigtion, it was not until the 1990 that binge eaing was given its first formal title (Everybody is beautiful , 2005).

 

Professional Organizations

Since it was first recognized in the 1990’s there has been any professional organizations recognize the disorder. There is a binge eating disorder association that has been formed by Chevese Turner in June 2008. Chevese is a former binge eater and healthcare professional. This disorder is also formally recognized by the National Eating Disorders Association, The National Association of Anorexia and by other organizations like Mayo Clinic and American Psychological Association.  Binge eating was officially included in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known and the bible of mental health diagnoses for medical and psychiatric professionals (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders ).

 

 

                                            Cause of binge eating

    Just like with bulimia the actual cause is unknown their factors that can increase your risk. Biological factors, long-term dieting and psychological issues increase your risk. It is also shown than binge eating is more common in women than men. Although it can happen in any age the early 20’s tends to show the most cases.    There are factors that an increase your risk for developing binge-eating

  • Family history- One is more likely to develop an eating disorder if your parents or siblings have or had an eating disorder.
  • Dieting- There is a long history of dieting with in patients with eating disorders. Dieting or severely restricting calories during the day trigger one to binge in the evening when the day has settled down.
  • Psychological issues- Many patients with binge eating disorder feel very negatively about themselves and all their life accomplishments. Triggers for binge eaters can stress, body dysmorphia, and availability of the preferred foods of the binge eater. There are also some psychiatric disorders that are linked to eating disorders including depression, bipolar and substance abuse (Eating disorder.com).

Symptoms of binge eating

             Most people who suffer from binge eating disorder are usually overweight or obese, but some could be a normal weight too. Behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms include

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time, periods of over a two-hour period.
  • Feeling that their eating behaviors is out of control
  • Continuing to eat even when full or not hungry
  • Eating rapidly during episodes
  • Eating until ill or uncomfortable
  • Frequently eating alone or in secret
  • Feelings of depression, disgustingly or upset about your eating
  • Constant dieting without weight loss.

Unlike a patient with bulimia, after a binge the patient will not compensate a binge with vomiting but with hours and hours of exercise to try to compensate for extra calories. But severely restricting a diet may lead to more binges. The severity of the eating disorder depends on the total binges per week (Warning signs and symptoms).

Effects of binge eating

               The patient can develop psychological and physical problems related to binge eating. Some of the complications that may be caused related to this disorder include social isolation, poor quality of life. There are some psychologic disorders poor quality of life, social isolation. Physical problems related to binge eating can include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol (Effects of binge eating).

Treatment of binge eating

            There are many forms of treatment offered for any form of eating disorder all of them begin with an eating disorder specialist. Usually this will be by a psychologist or another metal health professional with an experience or a background in helping with binge eating disorder. A physical exam and medical work up by a Dr is often an initial part of the standard treatment. The medical check-up is done so the dry can address any physical conditions that the disorder has caused (Eating Disorders help & treatment, 2014).

Family therapy

               A form of psychotherapy is known as family therapy. Family therapy helps a patient with binge eating see and comprehend the dysfunctional role they play with the family and their eating disorder maintain the roles. This form of therapy usually involves the patient and the family. Although some sessions may include the family without the patient. This can show the family the role they play in the eating disorder and enabling the disorder. This can also be a teaching tool to help the patient with healthy habits and seeking treatment.

Overcoming binge eating

Even though binge eating is one of the most common eating disorders, it is also the easiest to hide. Binge eating patients can maintain their weight for long periods of time before the symptoms are noticed and by this time the patient is very sick. Also, there are many mental issues that need to be addressed before the patient can be treated. Even with the mental obstacles and all the treatment that the patient must focus on the patient can still make a full recovery and lead a healthy life. There will be obstacles that the patient faces that may make the patient to want to revert to the eating disorders. The goal for the client is that they will have enough tools and strength to face the obstacles and not return to the eating disorder (Eating disorder hope , 2006).

How is society helping to increase this epidemic every day?

                  It is not a surprise with all the value that society places on being thin that it can have a strong impact on those already at risk for eating disorders. In America men and women are given a message at a very young age that to be healthy and successful that one must be healthy and fit. Every store that one walks into all that is shown in skinny women or strong fit mannequins. There are images of fit muscular men and skinny women on almost every magazine that one sees in public or on every street corner. Many thousands of females are starving their selves every day trying to attain the social media considers the “ideal image”. There are more than four out of 10 boys in middle and high school regularly exercise with the only goal is to increase muscle mass. The focus in society and of a social media is to be muscular and skinny, there is no focus on physical or mental health. There is also a huge focus on achieving the ideal image not matter the cost. It is seen all over social media steroids, diet pills, drinks all to make you achieve the ideal image that society says that one needs to achieve.

The Media

Clearly, the media has a huge impact as well. Regardless of ones gender the younger generation want to look like the images they see on tv, in magazines, or movies. Television projects an image of beautiful, gorgeous fit men or women and makes the viewers feel that to be the same as they need to look a certain way. Many of the actors that is shown on movies must endure numerous hours of exercise and deprived of nutrients just to maintain the image they have. Many have started resulting to surgery to obtain and achieve the body want. Society has the youth that the only importance is thin, instead of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, television programming promotes weight stigma by stereotyping and making fun of larger size people. Young adolescent spends a great amount of time on social media. They see numerous of fit, muscular gorgeous models, adolescents are led to believe to be accepted and popular they must look the same. They resort to exercising excessively, starving their bodies, and eat only diet foods to look like a photoshopped picture.

Diet Commercials

Television commercials are constantly showing and advertising a pill and new program, any new fad to promise you to fit and thin. Although the only way we can be happy and healthy is to look like the models on the commercials. While waiting in lines to buy only the food that fad diet tells you that you can eat there is nothing but models. The magazines are promoting hundreds on new fad diets and diet pills to guarantee you to look the way they do in the pictures. When the last diet promised the same results when does it stop? Dieting has become an obsession in America. Every year Americans spend billions trying to look like society says we should. Honestly if diets work and it was the route to take would there be so many diets and eating disorders? The truth is DIETS DO NOT WORK to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be the right size and shape, it comes with the proper nutrition and exercise. When we lose the balance of the two we start to fail.

Conclusion

Eating disorders are a rapid growing epidemic in America. It is an epidemic that will continue to grow if society and social media do not change their thought processes and images. In most of our American schools’ teenagers are battling weight. If the teenager does not like the rest of their peers, they can be subjected to being bullied and shunned. This in result can turn them to eating disorders or worse. Then when the teenager turns on Facebook, Instagram or the television the y sees the thin perfect person successful and wanted. Females from birth are shown a vision and get molded that to be successful and accepted they need to look like these images. The problem is this image that they are fighting to achieve is unattainable because it is not real. The image they have been taught and fight for is only that an image and not real. This must change in America before this epidemic can ever start to be cured.

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