Anorexia Nervosa Essay Research Paper Turning on

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Anorexia Nervosa Essay, Research Paper Turning on the TV today means seeing girls in swimsuits, models on a runway, or beautiful girls starring in movies. What do they all have in common? They all have skinny, perfect bodies, and they all influence how many girls today look at their bodies. In today s day and age many young women are very sensitive about body image and how they fit into society s standards. Because of this, more than 100 girls and women die each year from eating disorders. In DePaul High School alone, 95% of the girls I spoke to say that they have developed bad eating habits or have gone on crash diets in the past year. 99% of the girls said that they are not comfortable with their bodies and body weight, and 100% say that they feel that society effects the

way girls today look at their own bodies. Weight is constantly talked about at school. There is no way that students can stay away from the subjects of “getting fat” or “being chunky”. At lunch time many girls do not eat, or if they do, their “lunch” consists of a hot pretzel and a Nestea. Being surrounded by people obsessed with looks and weight; one can easily be brought into the trap of an eating disorder. The most common eating disorders of today are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. These eating disorders are the “third most common chronic illnesses of adolescence.”(Pettei 8) Anorexia nervosa is characterized by drastic weight loss. This disease is found mostly in young women ages 12-13, but is seen again in women ages 19-20. There have been cases in

girls as young as ten or eleven years old. Most of these girls belong to middle or upper-class families. It is found mainly in 12 and 13 year old girls when reaching adolescence because at that time young girls mature physically, emotionally, and socially. Because of this, many young girl s bodies change. During these times girls tend to become awkward-looking for about a year. Some areas of their bodies may be unproportional causing girls to want to lose some weight. Anorexia nervosa is a deadly disease, but if found early and treated properly, eight out of ten girls can be cured (Heller and Rhodes 95). How do you know if a girl is suffering from anorexia nervosa? There are many warning signs that show us. In the first three months the girl decides that she needs to go on a diet

(it takes very little for this to happen). “An anorexic s first diet is like an alcoholic s first daiquiri.” (Heller and Rhodes 98) Soon the diet turns into skipping meals and cutting out many foods from their diet. They also begin to increase exercise. An anorexic talks about food a lot and is very conscious of her appearance. She is always looking in the mirror or store windows at her body, and in her head saying how many pounds she needs to lose. What was once a simple diet turns into a sick obsession. In three to six months the girl meets her goal weight, but she continues to diet because she still “feels” fat. She begins to exercise obsessively, and focuses on that on “fat” area (usually thighs or stomach). She becomes irritable and restless. She begins to cut

down on her social contact, and develops a morbid fear of fat. Around this time parents need to seek professional help from someone who specializes in the treatment of anorexia nervosa for their now anorexic daughter. After six months the girl has a severe, fatal case of anorexia nervosa. Her weight drops noticeably: to below 85% of normal body weight. Some girls become very withdrawn from everything and others become frenetic (exercising to excess). The girl then ceased to menstruate, and she grows a thick coating of hair called lanugo on her body. Around the sixth month, the girl needs to be hospitalized. Why do girls do this? Many young girls feel that they need to have perfect bodies. They have to be called skinny. They have to be able to look in the mirror and see the body