There is disturbing trend nowadays where a significant number of women in the modeling and fashion industry are diagnosed with eating disorders. In women the occurrence may hardly come as a surprise anymore with the pronounced emphasis on looks. Let us take a closer look at how these disorders work, and what its repercussions are…
In today’s world of fashion and entertainment, a whole lot of importance is placed on the way a person looks. It is said that physical appearance can make or break an individual’s career. In this image conscious world, it is hardly surprising that people go to extremes in order to obtain that perfect body or immaculate look. Medication, surgery and starvation or eating disorders are just a few of the extremes being adopted today. The obsession with ‘thin is in’ has been one of the biggest contributors to the prevalence of eating disorders. Let’s face it, practically every young girl out there is obsessed with those “flawless” looks.
Rather admittedly, it would be nice to look perfect, but not at the cost of losing health, and maybe even one’s identity in the process. Whether it is a beauty pageant dealing with older people, or even child beauty pageants and eating disorders that we’re talking about. Fact of the matter is, it just is not right to get so influenced by something that is so transient. Another aspect that has always worked in accordance with each other is, eating disorders and the media. A majority of these obsessions of weight loss probably go all the way back to the “Barbie” days too. But coming back to the disorders, few of the most commonly known ones are, anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive overeating. Let’s get a closer look at each of them, in order to see how most women get affected by it.
Common Female Eating Disorders
As mentioned above, the most commonly known disorders known are Anorexia Nervosa, commonly known as Anorexia, Bulimia Nervosa, commonly known as Bulimia, and Compulsive Overeating, commonly known as binge eating. It is hardly news that most women obsessed with beauty and losing weight tend to indulge in severe weight loss methods, leading to either of these disorders. Take a slightly more detailed look at each of them, in order to know what they are about.
When I think of eating disorders, this is what comes to mind almost instinctively. We’ve all heard of the disorder known as anorexia. What is best known as an eating disorder only, could also be termed as a psychological disorder. In the simplest of terms and ideas, we know anorexia as being an extreme form of dieting and desire to lose weight. This desire to become ridiculously thin stems from the false misconception of being too fat, and being unable to maintain a healthy body weight. The sad part about a disorder like anorexia is that people who suffer from it are highly disillusioned, and have an extremely distorted idea about their image. The most common reasons for people turning anorexic are either believing that they are fat, or that they fear becoming fat, and so the easy solution is very simply, not eating. It seems almost like a no-brainer that not eating will keep you thin.
It is said that one in every 200 girls / women are affected by anorexia, and believe it or not, one in every 2000 men, is affected by anorexia too. It is important to understand that the backlash of being anorexic is severe, and that the long term effects can get worse than one would imagine. There are certain symptoms which could act as a give away for people suffering from anorexia. They are:
- Living in denial about their weight
- Obsession with diet, calories, and the likes
- Excessive weight loss, etc.
Now, if there are symptoms to indicate a problem, there are effects that prove it too. The most common after effects of anorexia are:
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
- Neurological problems
- Anemia or other blood problems
Those were the most common issues related to anorexia. Take a look at what the effects of bulimia are…
Yet another common eating disorder, this one too is seen more commonly in women as opposed to men. Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia, is also known as a form of binge eating. Just like the above mentioned disorder, bulimia too is a condition where the person is obsessed with weight issues, and does not want to become fat, but at the same time has a problem giving up food. What people will do in a case like that then is that they will eat to their hearts content, and then indulge in practices like immediate vomiting, consumption of laxatives and diuretics, etc. In fact, very often, people suffering from bulimia also suffer from anorexia. But this is not a characteristic of all cases. Take a look at some of the factors that help recognize a bulimic…
- Addiction to food, especially high calorie foods
- Lack of control overeating habits
- Absurd eating patterns
- Frequent variation in weight
- Anxiety & depression
Those were some of the more common and frequently noticed symptoms of being bulimic. Very evidently, there would be ill effects that come with it too. Here are some of them…
- Tearing of the esophagus (from the excessive vomiting)
- Throat problems
- Weight gain (unexpected, right?)
- Tooth decay
- Bloating / swelling of the body, etc.
Obsessive Compulsive Overeating (OCO)
Often known as binge eating disorder, this disorder is all about being terribly addicted to food. Although this may seem fairly similar to bulimia, the difference here is that even though the person indulges in large amounts of food in one go, he / she does feel guilty, but will not take to the consumption of diuretics, laxatives, etc. Most people who suffer from OCO are cases of emotional eating, and find that food acts as a method of drowning those feelings of pain or whatever the emotion that they are consumed by. Common symptoms that help identify compulsive over-eaters are:
- Low self-esteem
- Hoarding food
- Constant attempts at dieting
- Constant fluctuation in weight
So, while those were the symptoms of a victim of compulsive overeating, the side effects of this condition are:
- Impairment of bones
- Heart disorders
- High cholesterol / high blood pressure
Unfortunately, these days, the concept of beauty intentionally or unintentionally encourages wrong ideas. This mindset has led to becoming a major fad amongst most young girls, thus leading to innumerable health problems too.
It is essential to get acquainted with a few of the most common eating disorders because inevitably the desire to be “beautiful” these days narrows down to being thin, or rather to “not being fat!”. Getting rid of that theory could work wonders for most, and who knows, the concept of eating disorders could become a thing of the past.