Eating Disorders And Its Effects On Society

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For many of us, it is normal to have three meals per day with snacks in between, but for millions of other people in the U.S., it has been a routine for them to miss meals or consume over three meals per day. These people struggle with normal eating behaviors that result with negative effects on their emotional and physical health (Longe, 2008). These abnormal eating patterns are psychiatric illnesses known as eating disorders. People with the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, have negative perceptions of their bodies, genuinely believing they are overweight, even when they are life-threateningly malnourished (Longe, 2008). As for people with bulimia nervosa, they often consume unreasonably large amounts of food in a short period of time,…show more content…
Eating disorders commonly occur during preadolescence to adolescence and potentially during childhood or later in life. These disorders affect both genders, but women are affected two and a half times more than men (National Institute of Mental Health, 2016). Although awareness of eating disorders is widespread, only a small percentage of people actually receive medical attention. In a recent study of a large sample of American people from ages 9 to 14, 34% of boys and 43.5% of girls were identified as having eating disorder traits. However, fewer than 20% of the cases of eating disorders have actually received treatment (Treasure, 2016). This number suggests that 80% of the eating disorder victims had refused treatment due to many reasons including the non-availability of financial assistance.

In the U.S., the treatment cost of eating disorders without health insurance coverage ranges from $500 to $2,000 per day (Crow, 2014). For a month of inpatient treatment, the cost can extend to $30,000, and $100,000 for treatments such as therapy and medical monitoring (Crow, 2014). These are the average ranges that people, whose coverages are denied or inadequate, have to pay out of pocket. The costs of eating disorder treatments leave families in an ethical quandary that they cannot afford for essential care.

When eating disorders are not properly monitored and treated, victims’ mental illnesses contribute to potential internal and
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