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Epidemic in America: Eating Disorders

April 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172

In today's society the pressure to become skinny or physically fit has caused an enormous rise in eating disorders among many men and women. The media plays a huge role in setting what a sexually appealing man or woman's appearance should entail, however these are not the ideal body figures. Forty-seven percent of girls in 5th-12th grade want to lose weight as result of magazine pictures. However, only about five percent of American females obtain this media figure look naturally. The desire to look like these models or actresses has driven the young people of America over the edge to a very unhealthy life style that is detrimental to the body.

The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating-purging. Twenty-five percent of college aged women have admitted to using binging and purging as a weight control method and sadly Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents; this is when an individual denies the body the proper nutrients to give them strength and energy because of their fear of gaining weight. This disease has been known to impact mostly many young females. This is prone in many female athletes that are involved in long distance running, dance, gymnastics etc. because of the factor that the less the athlete weighs the faster and better they will perform. Also, many times athletes possess characteristics that relate to eating disorders because they may have higher expectations for themselves, competitiveness, and compulsiveness to become the best that this leads them towards body image distortion to become 'perfect.'

Some signs and symptoms are the female athlete triad syndrome. The three factors are disordered eating which has negative effectives on the energy output due to low energy input. Also, Amenorrhea is very common. Females who deny their body of the right nutrients will slowly begin to have a decreased or even nonexistent menstrual cycle. This will play a huge role in the future as to whether they may or may not be able to have children. The last factor is osteopenia. The female athletes may have early bone decay because they are not in taking enough calcium in order to keep strong bones; signs of stress fractures or broken bones are a red flag that the female's nutritional intake is off balance.

Not only do eating disorders affect women but men as well. About ten to fifteen percent of those with eating disorders are male. Many young men view the media with men that have six pack abs are seen as sexually appealing in society. These puts added pressure on the young male to impress others even though an average male does not have wash board abdominals or zero percent body fat. Eating disorders are found in many male athletes such as wrestlers who are concerned about their body weight. They are forced to deprive themselves of food in order to make weight for their next match.

This pressure from society has caused an epidemic in America; eating disorders are the highest mortality rate than any other mental disorder. The media needs to portray natural, healthy, men and women as beautiful rather than these unrealistic movie stars with no curves. It is essential for the young men and women of America to realize how beautiful and good looking they are by just being themselves. Knowing this, the young people of America need to have a revelation and gain some confidence, you are BEAUTIFUL!

Source: EzineArticles
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