Starving for perfection?

Starving for perfection? Is it worth it? Sababa Anber

Did you know that around 10 million females and about 1 million males suffer from a type of anorexia or bulimia in the United States? In fact, millions of people more are struggling with compulsive eating disorder, which is about a 70 million people worldwide. Interestingly, the number of reported cases of young women suffering from anorexia, between the age of 15 and 19 has escalated every decade since 1930. Eating disorders consists of different types, such as anorexia nervosa, which is the fear of gaining weight, bulimia nervosa is the act of binge eating then purging or vomiting, and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), and binge eating disorder falls under that, which is eating until uncomfortably full in one sitting. Compulsive (or binge) eating disorder is quite alike as bulimia in various ways. Such as, in both disorders, a person feels guilty and are regretful about overeating. However, purge eating is not seen in people who suffer from compulsive eating disorder. They therefore, tend to be overweight or obese which could lead to several cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. About 1800 to 2600 calories a day is the normal, healthy, amount of food for an average teenager or an adult. However, during a bingeing episode, a person can eat about 25 times that amount, which could be equivalent to eating an entire chocolate cake or even an extra-large pepperoni pizza. Actually, people who binge eat, tend to consume these several times during the day! Research studies show that in the development of eating disorders, a significant role is played by genetic factors. For instance, the relatives of women who suffer from anorexia tends to be 11 times more likely to develop anorexia, while relatives of women with bulimia are four times more likely to develop that. The most devastating effects seen in people with Eating Disorders include depression, isolation, lack of self-respect, substance abuse, feelings of incompetence, rage, and anxiety. Especially, people who are either admired or mocked for their weight are at a greater risk of developing these symptoms. It is imperative to help people who are suffering from eating disorders. If your loved one is suffering from eating disorders, it is essential to communicate your concerns in a caring and supportive way. Most importantly, confronting the person you care about is a crucial step in order to get them both the help as well as the treatment that they deserve. Start with a casual conversation if you must, but it’s better to open up and talk about it, than suffer in silence. References: 1. Eating Disorders Statistics.” National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Association Disorders. 2012. Accessed: April 20, 2012. 2. Sonenklar, Carol. 2011. Anorexia and Bulimia (USA Today Health Reports: Diseases and Disorders).  Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books

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