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Anorexia Essay, Research Paper EATING DISORDERS(ANOREXIA) INTRODUCTION The purpose for this paper is to inform myself more on eating disorders since its becoming such an important issue in our society. REVIEW: DIETING: Dieting is currently at epidemic proportions. According to Hobbs and Johnson?s(1996) study, by the age of 18, more than fifty percent of girls perceive themselves as being too fat, despite having a normal weight. Anorexia nervosa is estimated to occur in 0.2 to 1.3 percent of the population, with annual incidence of five to ten cases per 100,000 population. Prevalence and incidence rates of both anorexia nervosa and bulimia tend to be higher in certain populations, such as college sororities. In this type of environment, a high priority is placed on thinness,

therefor dieting is a common practice among colleagues. Anorexia nervosa is much more common in women than in men, although approximately five to ten percent of patients with anorexia are men. Broccolo-Philbin(1996) notes that dieting can be dangerous. If extreme dieting goes unnoticed and uncorrected, then it could lead to serious health problems. Several anorexic patients end up in the hospital to be treated for their disorder. CAUSES: ?We are in a society that suggests we must be perfect in everything,? says Meehan(1996,p.1), founder and president of the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated disorders. She says we feel that we must somehow live up to these unrealistic standards. In turn, if we meet this ideal, then we feel bad about are looks. This can lead

up to a behaviour that harms rather then helps. One girl who suffered from anorexia said,? I really didn?t feel like I was good at anything. Even though I made straight A?s, it seemed like I was never in control. Food was the only thing in my life that I could control.? Meehan(1996,p.2) explains that this attitude is common among people who suffer from eating disorders. ? Anorexics realize the power food has over people,?she says. ?A person who starves themselves think they are special because they can do something no one else can do.? Power is a major issue with anorexics. In fact, studies suggest there are certain risk factors that make some teens more susceptible to developing an eating disorder. In addition to being unhappy with their bodies and themselves, many have a strong

need for approval from their parents or peers. Some may be depressed and this can be a major factor. For women the overwhelming social and cultural pressure to be slim can produce such ferocious fear of fatness that the result is anorexia. For men, says Andersen(1994,p.61) such pressures are a significant cause of anorexia primarily in a subset that includes models, actors, gymnasts, wrestlers and jockeys. Although for several males, nonprofessional sport training can lead down the road to an eating disorder. Men can also develop eating disorders in connection with what behaviour experts call ?obligatory running? and other endurance sports. In a world of deprivation chic, pain and hunger take a back seat to miles-per-day and body fat percentage numbers. According to Hobbs(1996)

and Johnson(1996), dieting and weight loss are becoming much more common among males of all ages. Things like television, motion pictures and the print media portray a slender body as a way to obtain power, control and success. Americans are exposed to the ideas off healthy eating and thinness at an early age, and by early childhood they are learning the power they wield over their bodies through weight loss. Jenish(1990) notes that doctors who have studied the disorders say that there can be a wide spread of causes, including a childhood disturbed by alcoholism, drug abuse or sexual abuse within a family, or an individual?s own obsession with perfection. Kaufman(1990,p.52) says,?People want to be pencil thin. Models are suppose to be able to put their legs together and still