The skinny on anorexia- by Grace

Anorexia nervosa has become, over the recent years, something of a threat to our world- in particular, the younger generations, who have been exposed to a more materialistic environment during their childhood than the older generations may remember. For example, they are exposed to advertisements that frequently feature slim, tall people, possibly creating the thought that it’s best to be like them, oftentimes to gain popularity.

There are several ways to get thin. You could work out regularly to work off extra fat, if you are particularly plump, and attain a leaner figure. However, there is a more dangerous, but seemingly easier way out which more and more people are using.

People with anorexia nervosa, ‘anorexics’, have an immense fear of gaining weight and getting fat. Usually these anorexics are adolescents, or people involved in societies where being slender and thin may be prized (such as dance or theatre), and they resort to different dieting techniques to lose weight, being under the impression that they are overweight. In fact, this image of being obese may persist even when the anorexic in question is already stick-thin. Some dieting techniques that these anorexics use include excessive exercise (hey, exercise is good, but not excessively), just plain not eating, or taking dieting pills. Some anorexics also get obsessive about their calorie intakes and may start calculating the amount of calories they take in per meal.

According to ANRED, Exeter University conducted a survey in 1998 amongst 37 500 young women. The survey’s results showed that 57.5% of the young women listed appearance as the biggest concerns in their lives. This statistic may rise dramatically over the next few years- and another astonishing fact is that (according to Exeter University’s survey) 59% of the twelve- and thirteen-year-olds surveyed who have low self-esteem, are already dieting.

Dieting excessively is like starving yourself and you might become anorexic. Anorexics can recover from the disease, but sometimes anorexia can be fatal. For example, Brazilian model Ana Reston died on the 14th of November, 2006, from anorexia. Many celebrities have had problems relating to eating disorders, such as Victoria Beckham (who at the beginning of her Spice Girls career was being put under a lot of pressure to stay thin) and Karen Carpenter (the sister in The Carpenters music duo died at 32 from anorexia). I feel that people everywhere –for not only adolescent girls and models are affected- deserve to feel good about themselves and not let their decisions about weight be decided by the harsh judgments of others. I sincerely hope that the number of anorexics in the world will decrease, as it might well become a rising threat to the world’s population if it persists.

Information on anorexia was taken from http://www.mamashealth.com/anorexia.asp, http://www.anred.com/stats.html, http://www.edreferral.com/Celebrities_who_died_or_have_Eating_Disorders.htm and http://www.people.com/people/article/0,26334,1560633,00.html.

Anorexia comic was taken from http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLG_en___TH287&q=anorexia+comic.


Anonymous said...

I agree... I don't think people should think they are too fat when they aren't, they will just get really sick.


Anonymous said...

ethan - last year i did a health project on anorexia and it is a very serious subject and that people should not see themselves as fat. all they need to do is just eat a healthy diet and excercise