Essay on Eating Disorders

1420 Words 6 Pages
Millions of American women struggle with eating disorders. An eating disorder is

a disturbance in eating behavior. Most people associate eating disorders with anorexia

nervosa, "active self-starvation or sustained loss of appetite that has psychological

origins" (Coon 133), or bulimia nervosa, "excessive eating (gorging) usually followed by

self-induced vomiting and/ or taking laxatives (Coon 411). They need to purge their bodies of calories in any way possible, so they may also use diuretics or even exercise compulsively. Their body images are severely distorted. They're the most talked about and the best studied eating disorders, and researchers estimate that nearly seven million women in the United States suffer
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     Eating disorders usually begin before the age of twenty. In a ten year study

conducted by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders,

ten Percent of all the participants reported that their anorexia or bulimia started before

they were ten years old; thirty-three percent reported the onset between the ages of

eleven and fifteen, and forty-three percent reported an onset between the ages of sixteen

and twenty (DeFresne).

     Anorexia and bulimia have serious physical and psychological repercussions,

which, if left untreated, can be fatal. Eating disorders can devastate the body. Physical

problems associated with eating disorders include hair and bone loss, palpitations, anemia,

Tooth decay, esophagitis and the cessation of menstruation. They can also affect the

gastrointestinal, renal (kidneys), neurological (nervous system), and skeletal systems of the

body. People with binge eating disorder may develop high blood pressure, diabetes and

other problems associated with obesity. Eating disorders are also associated with other

mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse. About

twenty-five percent of people with eating

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