Anorexia and Bulimia Essay

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Anorexia and Bulimia: A Concise Overview

     As many as 20% of females in their teenage and young adult years suffer from anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa (Alexander-Mott, 4). Males are also afflicted by these eating disorders, but at a much lower rate, with a female to male ratio of six to one. Those with anorexia nervosa refuse to maintain a normal body weight by not eating and have an intense fear of gaining weight. People with bulimia nervosa go through periods of binge eating and then purging (vomiting), or sometimes not purging but instead refraining from eating at all for days. Both of these disorders wreak havoc on a person's body and mental state, forcing them to become emaciated and often
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And then I would find an isolated bathroom and atone for my sins" (K.D.K., 1).

     Another factor contributing to anorexia and bulimia is social influence. "Historically, men are judged more for what they do and women for how they look" (Costin, 46). Most ads and diet products have been aimed at females in the past, but now are directed towards all people. Ads for clothing and swimsuits portray incredibly thin models showing off their

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perfect bodies, and many people are lead to believe that beauty is measured in pounds. Amazingly, most female fashion models are 23% below what is considered a healthy, normal body weight (Costin, 45). Anorexics and bulimics wish to look like these models, and starve, binge, and purge in an attempt to achieve their goal.. "Thinness has come to symbolize not only control, but wealth, independence, and freedom" (Costin, 48). Anorexia and bulimia are a means for losing weight, which means fitting in, which leads to acceptance - exactly what an anorexic or bulimic is looking for.

     Anorexia and bulimia do not distinguish between sex, skin color, or religious background. Women living in the western hemisphere in their teens and early adult years, however, are afflicted with eating disorders more than women anywhere else in the world (Costin, 47). Males can also be anorexic or

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