Eating disorders are a common affair in the modern world. They are intricate, real and often devastating medical conditions that have tremendous effects on the health, productivity and relationships of the affected individuals. In many instances, eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice, phase or a mere fad. The conditions can manifest as serious occurrences and can affect the physical and emotional health of a person. It is always crucial for people affected by eating disorders to seek professional assistance. The earlier such help is sought the more likely that physical and emotional health of the individual can be restored. For instance anorexia nervosa is a very serious eating disorder that affects a many people. The condition is characterized by self-starvation accompanied by weight loss and can be life threatening.
It is realized that eating disorders have become very common especially in the past 50 years due to a number of reasons. Cases of eating disorders are usually more prevalent among women than in men. In the United States for instance, 20 million women and 10 million men have experienced cases of eating disorders at some point in their lives (Espejo, 2012). The clinically significant disorders in this respect include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating. It should be noted that many other cases are not reported and this underscores the gravity of the challenge. Many people struggle with feelings of body dissatisfaction which affect their eating behaviors and attitudes. Research indicates that body dissatisfaction is the most common reported cause of bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa (Espejo, 2012). The challenge is more prevalent among women due to genetic reasons. From an early age of 6, many girls already begin to register concerns regarding their body weight. It is reported that 50 to 60 percent of elementary school girls between 6-12 years are concerned about getting fat and strive to regulate their body weight (Espejo, 2012). Most of these girls will endure the same feeling throughout their lives. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Eating disorders are more common among women because more women than men usually diet in order to control their weight. Since many women are very concerned about their body shape and weight, they often experience many eating disorders which gradually become serious (Espejo, 2012). Many women aspire to be slim and will therefore limit the amount of fatty foods they consume or exercise frequently. The desire and preoccupation to control weight and shape ultimately translates into a risky eating disorder. According to medical research, women are more likely to consider their overeating behavior more abnormal than men. While binge eating is usually seen across the genders, women feel much of the challenge due to socialization which emphasizes thinness as a quality for women. Therefore women who do not necessarily overeat can be obsessed with the feeling that they are overeating and gaining weight. Such a feeling predisposes them to developing bulimia nervosa. Additionally, more women than men are likely to seek medical treatment for their conditions. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
The challenge of eating disorders has been growing at a faster rate since 1950. Part of this increase is due to the growing awareness regarding food and human health. The growth and development in food technology has created many options for consumers (DeSole, 2010). As a result, people today have many options to choose from regarding their diets. The challenge also differs considerably across different social classes. In the US, anorexia nervosa is seen to be more prevalent among non-Hispanic whites than in the other races. Anorexia nervosa is essentially a mental health condition that can be life threatening is not treated early enough. Increase in public awareness on this matter can help to change how the disorders are usually viewed by the public. Eating disorders have also increased due to the challenges associated with obesity and the desire by many people to remain healthy through responsible eating.
It is reported that eating disorders arise from a combination of emotional, biological interpersonal, psychological and social factors. On the face value, the disorders are generally a preoccupation with weight and food matters while in actual sense these are very complex medical conditions (DeSole, 2010). The affected people only strive to use food as a means to control and manage their emotions and feelings which is usually just part of the solution. Many other people opt to diet and binge as a way of coping with pain and emotions and to provide personal gratification in managing one’s life. In the end, the behaviors spiral out of control and affect the emotional and physical health of an individual. The affected people also experience reduced self-esteem, self-control and competence.
The media has played a big role in promoting eating disorders by exposing consumers to reality issues which many people then strive to achieve. In the same way, the media provides the best avenue to create attention and awareness on the extent of eating disorders. People should learn to appreciate their bodies and develop a positive body image. Similarly, they should have a proper relationship with food and seek help from professionals.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Eating disorders have therefore increased in the past 50 years on the basis of many reasons. It must be understood that these disorders are medical conditions that should be addressed professionally. The affected people should always be willing to seek help than suffer in silence since delayed treatment can be dangerous. While women are more affected by these conditions than men, it is recognized that eating disorders affect many people and the challenge is growing rapidly. Anorexia nervosa is a common disorder that affects many people in the world today and should therefore be considered in greater detail. As a mental health condition this disease can cause irreversible damage to an individual.
DeSole, L. (2010). Special issue: Eating disorders and mindfulness. Eating Disorders, 19(1), 1-5.
Espejo, R. (Ed.). (2012). Eating disorders. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press.