Eating Disorders: Starving to Death

eating disorders

What once seemed to be a taboo topic is slowly but surely becoming more prominent in today’s American society. Pictures of models on the television or in magazines being overwhelmingly underweight isn’t just an image seen in media. In many girl’s lives, this is reality.

This reality is something that is deadly, and therefore should this be something concerning our society. It is a day-to-day struggle, affecting many men and women worldwide. Eating disorders seem to be destroying humans that are affected, and this is being done from the inside out. A problem with these mental disorders is that they may be hard to recognize; however, now that they are becoming more popular, it becomes imperative for us as a society to notice and provide help/support for a problem of this magnitude.

Anorexia, or anorexia nervosa is identified as an individual maintaining a body weight at a level 85 percent of the normal weight for age and height. According to The Eating Disorder foundation, anorexia is self-imposed starvation, with individuals limiting or restricting other parts of their lives besides food. These include relationships, social activities or other things that bring them pleasure. On the other hand, according to Causes of Eating Disorders, bulimia or bulimia nervosa is categorized as having recurrent episodes of both binge eating and purging that occur at least twice a week for a minimum of three months.

Although there is no definite cause for eating disorders, there are some things that are said to possibly contribute towards the development of eating disorders. Eating disorders, like many other mental illnesses such as depression, do not have a sure-fire way of how they became developed. Perhaps this may be a reason why they were not, and still are not, easily pinpointed in society. However, one thing that is thought to contribute to eating disorders is ads and advertisements conveying body image seen on TV, the internet and in magazines. These all affect how men and women see themselves. Individuals feel that it is virtually impossible to live up to these standards that are being portrayed to them on a regular basis, and therefore they end up considering altering their eating patterns as potentially the only solution. In many of these cases, the individual ends up developing one of the aforementioned eating disorders.

Eating disorders are a serious issue in society, but with it being something that is being newly researched (only for about the past 25 years), perhaps society just does not know enough about them. Since many things may influence a disorder, it is not a one size fits all type of fix. However, even though the cause for these disorders is still unknown, it does not mean a solution should not be searched for. This battle is not for people to face on their own. The more that is known about eating disorders now, the more the topic can be brought into the light and help can be provided for those who need it.

Written by Riley Soriano


BBC News
Eating Recovery Center
National Eating Disorders Association