Eating Disorders And Body Image Issues

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Introduction Eating disorders (ED) and body image issues are increasingly becoming more and more common among women in Western societies (Stice, 2002). Over the past couple years the prevalence of bulimia nervosa (BN) and has steadily increased, 3 out of 100 women that are now diagnosed with the disorder (Botta, 1999; Hesse-Biber et. al, 2006). This brings into question wether it is in fact BN that is increasing, our awareness or the rising numbers of other comorbid disorders in Western societies. Today in our society, there is a strong emphasis placed on body shape and appearance as seen in much of our media (Grigg et. al, 1996). Unfortunately, the ideal body image encouraged by society is often unhealthily thin and unrealistic and may therefore contribute to the prevalence of body distortion and ED , may times women will engage in disordered eating in hopes of attaining the false ideal. Even girls aged 5–8 years of age are already living in an appearance culture in which both peers and the media influence body image and dieting awareness ( Dohnt & Tiggermann, 2006). The vast majority of people with eating disorders in the United States are adolescents and young adult women. Eating disorders, in addition to causing various physical health problems, are associated with illnesses such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and especially OCD (Rubenstein et. al, 1992). Women and gay men alike are more dissatisfied with their bodies and vulnerable to ED because of a
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