Scared Skinny

by ezeh1 on April 16, 2014 - 3:24pm

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself that you would do anything to be skinnier or just “look better”?  I have.  Fortunately I have been educated on healthy weight loss and know the safest and most effective ways to go about this, but most people in America are not educated on this topic.  They see problem areas and think that starvation or excessive exercise is the only answer, when in reality they are only hurting themselves. But people with an eating disorder do not care about hurting themselves because they are so scared of gaining any weight.  Unfortunately, eating disorders exist all over the world, but one of the most prevalent in America is anorexia nervosa.  It is a psychiatric disorder that causes people to change their eating behavior in order to lose weight and attain a body image that they believe is ideal.  Ideal body image is a whole different topic in itself, and this article by Blazej Meczekalski looks at multiple studies related to the medical consequences of anorexia nervosa in the United States.  These studies were done to see which side effects of anorexia were most prevalent and serious to determine where future research and funds should be put. These studies also focus on women because the lifetime prevalence rate in women is significantly higher than men (2-3% versus .24%).  Long-term consequences of this disorder can be fatal.  Nine hundred and fifty four women with anorexia nervosa were studied using physicals to gather any type of medical history, and it was predicted that they only had 36.6 years of life remaining (Meczekalski, 2013).  This fact hit hard because most of the people I see on a daily basis are around this age and it is probable that some of them struggle with an eating disorder.  The reason for this decreased life expectancy results from many of the side effects of anorexia: cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, etc.  Along with life expectancy, this study found that cardiovascular disease is prevalent in about 80% of anorexia cases, osteoporosis in 38% of cases, osteopenia in 92% of cases, and 57% of people have had a bone fracture after diagnosis of anorexia.  Perhaps the most serious side effect of anorexia nervosa is an electrolyte abnormality.  When the homeostasis of the body is off for too long it can easily shut down (Meczekalski, 2013).  The study of this disorder is so important because like I said earlier, it affects 2-3% of the women in this country and has so many side effects associated with it.  These consequences have other side effects in themselves which can lead to costly procedures.  Health insurance is not cheap, so putting some money into ways to eliminate some cases of anorexia could save the country money in the long run.  This article makes me believe that healthy weight loss and appropriate exercise education in schools could go a long way.  Especially as a general education class in college where students are more likely to take something away from the class because they are paying for it.  Classes like this could also help the increasing obesity issues affecting our country. 

The framing of the problem in this article is very clearly stated.  First of all, the title of the article is “Long-term Consequences of Anorexia Nervosa”, so you know exactly what you are going to be reading about.  The abstract also frames the definition of anorexia nervosa along with the major problems associated with it, and the article itself is divided into sections based on medical consequences (i.e. Mortality Rates, Cardiovascular Disease, etc.), so finding a specific issue is easy.  The problems given are completely unbiased and based on scientific data.  There is no judgment happening towards people with this disorder.  This disorder is very complicated because of all the associated issues, but this article does a very good job at separating the issues and specifically mentioning how they are all related to anorexia and sometimes how they are related to each other.  For example, some people with anorexia nervosa will purge after eating which can cause gastrointestinal issues as well as rotted teeth from the constant contact with gastrointestinal fluids.  The purpose of this study was to show people just how serious this disorder is and this is accomplished with scientific facts and prevalence rates.  The problem at hand is completely significant and realistic considering that most people, whether they know it or not, have probably known someone with an eating disorder.  People with anorexia nervosa, as well as other eating disorders, need to be looked at as people with a serious disorder that can be helped, rather than someone with “their own problem” who is an embarrassment. With prevalence rates this high in such a costly issue, more effort needs to be done to help end this disorder.  

 

References

Meczekalski, B. (2013). Long-term consequences of anorexia nervosa. Maturitas, 75, 215-220.

            Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.04.014

Comments

Nice title! but it was too long of a read for a summary. What you can do to try to shorten it is to filter out information that is not necessary to understand the issue after all the details are in your link (it's there for anyone who wants to read further).
Have a good day!

I totally agree with your article, I myself is educated on the topic and know the healthy ways to losing weight or just staying healthy in general, but I have seen some of my friends go down a bad path to losing weight. It’s a great thing that they want to lose weight and be healthy but the way that some of them have chosen to “be healthy” is actually even worse for their body. It’s a normal thing for men, but mostly women to be insecure about how they look even when there are already healthy and in great shape, but to take it to the next level by starving themselves or making themselves vomit is very unhealthy. I found it very interesting in your article that people with eating disorders, such as anorexia only have a predicted 36.6 years left of their life. I did not know that this eating disorder could cause so many other diseases. I also agree with your statement that schools should educate more people about this issue.

I completely agree with your article. In order to achieve the body and the look you want people must be educated on how to do it the right way. Many women and even men think that in order to lose weight you must put your body through torture and are unaware of the side effects. I like how in depth you described the descriptions of the effects and the possible diseases. The numbers given were clear evidence. I am interested in what it takes to achieve the body of ones dreams and this article makes it clear that education is the key.

This was a great topic to bring into focus. While 2-3% doesn't sound like a large number, that is still a lot of women in this country that anorexia affects. Even if it's not to an extreme such as anorexia, I believe all women have an almost constant internal battle with themselves and their self confidence over their body image. The body image society has projected as acceptable is so far from what most women could ever look like. There are so many different body types, and all are beautiful. This problem I believe must have been bigger before my time, as in before I was at the age to understand it. I say this because of all the attention and movement brought to the issue that I pretty much grew up with. Such as the most recent one I can think of is the Dove campaign for real beauty. They fight off the perceived images of what beauty is as portrayed by such forces as Victoria Secret. Dove puts real women out there, women that could be your sister, your mother, your grandmother, and tells you they are pretty. The women they use throughout their campaign are all different. Different in ways of height, weight, build, skin color, age, and other varying characteristics and assets. They have put a lot of money. time, and resources into changing the way society looks at beauty. Healthy and happy is when your true beauty shines.

I love this topic because its always been something that I felt strongly about. I know people who have/had eating disorders and even though nothing tragic or serious has about to them because of it, thinking about how its possible really scares me. I completely agree with the first part of the summary when you talked about not a lot of people are educated. In my opinion eating disorders is a topic that everyone knows about but no one talks about, this could potentially be bad because it leads to people not being fully aware of the consequences. Like you said, schools should talk about this more and be more informative.

This article really caught my attention because eating disorders affect so many people in the college age group. It is truly a shame that people hurt themselves like this to create what they think is a perfect body image. I think this is mostly due to the image of “beautiful people,” made by Hollywood and most famous people. Young adults try to hurt themselves to become more like their famous idols as fast as possible. This of course only brings about one course which is either anorexia or other eating disorders. I think it is necessary to educate people at a young age the effects of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa to try to prevent it in future generations.

Image has become such a big part of the lives of the human race. It seems as though history consisted more of what people could do and less about how they looked. By no means is it bad that people are concerned about their bodies, but the way they go about the change is dangerous. In Highschool as well as now, I have witnessed the ignorance of those who want to look like the people in magazines. Being in the weight room often for football, I could over hear the thought process of people attempting a physical transformation. “Dinner is out of the question for me tonight, I think I’m going to puke,” said one girl after stepping off the scale. A lot of people are just unaware of the fact that, not only are they not doing the right things to reach their goal, they are quite possible doing damage. For example, working out and starving yourself will make you lose muscle. I do not know personally know of anyone who has aquired any of the side effects of Anorexia nervosa such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, but I do know that there are better ways to lose weight, and gain a healthier figure at the same time.
This topic really hits home. I have always been interested in keeping a good figure and staying fit. Fortunately I have come to understand that there are do’s and don’ts to losing weight and building muscle at an early age. Sometimes people just need to hear that what they are doing is wrong or bad for them, and they will stop. Your introduction presented this fact that there is a lot more to losing weight than starving and extreme excersize. You also pointed out some louring information which interested me in the original article. I understand that this piece focused on Anorexia, but it would be interesting to see how this could have been expanded with some common weight loss and anorexia misconceptions. Very interesting!

This topic is very important to bring attention to. Anorexia affects so many people in this country. Letting people know the consequences behind it besides losing weight is going to help in decreasing the disease. I personally did not know that this could shave years off their life and give a person health issues. I also agree with most people not being educated enough about good weight loss options. A lot of people I know think let me just eat very little to lose weight and that will be my diet. It is so extreme that it only hurts the person in the end. I feel anorexia is often looked over and not seen as that serious. People just say give them food tell them to eat, this makes it seem like less of a big deal. If it is less of a big deal more people wont see a problem with doing it. This article really shines the light on the dangers and seriousness of the disease.

The topic of the way your body looks comes into play way too much in our generation. Everyone wants to be perfect, wants to be well liked, and wants to feel comfortable around others with how they look. Too many people are focused on what others think and as a result, it only weakens our society. I agree completely with your summary when you included that individuals are not educated enough on how to correctly lose weight. Many people now days resort to pills, making themselves get sick, or not eating. These ways are so dangerous and can make your body so unhealthy. No one knows how easy it could be to just set your mind set to working out, eating healthy, and doing all the correct things to lose weight in a healthy way. I love this topic because not many others realize the importance and i feel like i understand. I enjoyed reading your article summary and thought you put in great information to inform all others who have viewed this.

I agree that this is a huge problem among young girls, but they try to imitate the figures seen in modern day modeling. The amazing but unrealistic bodies of super models is setting the standard. Models are forced to stay as skinny as they are or run the risk of losing their contracts. They're measured usually daily but for most European models that come from poverty and though these often very young models have no choice but to comply. I have dated some models that were featured in popular magazines and were extremely skinny. They're often quite depressed and hate them selves and hate modeling, not too mention they're often sick and fell horrible. To see someone going through such harm is crazy and changes your entire perspective on what you find attractive verses what's just plain unrealistic.

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