The world is full of distorted images, especially body images. For years, both men and women have been found to manipulate their eating and their fitness routines to meet sometimes-unrealistic body images. The National Eating Disorders Association states that the average woman is 5’4” tall and 140 pounds and the average beauty model is 5’11” tall and 117 pounds. Unfortunately, more times than not, the beauty model is seen on the front of magazines and depicts an image of powerful, glamorous, strong and beautiful. This leaves young women who do not fit this description to feel “fat”, “lazy” and “ugly”. Because of these harsh criticisms, women today are forced to constantly strive to meet these unreachable images and in the process, hurt themselves and those around them.
Eating disorders are serious medical conditions that affect both men and women. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating are all types of eating disorders. Eating disorders frequently occur in adolescence and early adulthood, but may occur in early childhood. Females are more prone to eating disorders than males. Eating disorders are not just about food. Restricting or purging food are outward signs of trying to gain control of an overwhelming situation that may not be controllable. Too much of a good thing can also be detrimental to a person’s health. Over exercising, also known as exercise bulimia, is a psychological disorder where a person is compelled to exercise in the purpose of burning food calories to an excess level where their health is at risk.
If you know of someone who has signs of an eating disorder or shows disordered eating behaviors that may develop into an eating disorder, please suggest to him or her to speak to a counselor or a registered dietitian. A professional will be able to assess the severity of the situation and refer if need be.
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