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Anorexia Essay

Anorexia is a condition that affects every part of you, your body, and your mind. In the world that we live in, where on every magazine cover, every tv show, and even in your homeroom, you see beautiful, skinny girls that seem to have everything they want. They seem to be popular, always happy and have the perfect body. Many girls that are just beginning to go through adolescence feel that to be these perfect girls, they have to be skinny. They turn to anorexia. Anorexia is a serious eating disorder, in which girls have an intense fear of becoming fat. The diagnostic criteria, although not all patients with anorexia experience these symptoms are characteristics of anorexics. Anorexics have a refusal to maintain body weight at or above the minimally normal weight for age and height.

Their weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight is below 20% of the expected body weight of healthy individuals at the same age and height. Some anorexics have a distorted body image of themselves, leading them to believe they are fat, even if they are seriously underweight. The physical signs that can be seen or felt are dramatic weight loss in a relatively short period of time, skeletal look, sunken eyes, dry, yellow, or grey skin, thinning hair, hair growth on arms, legs, and other body parts in an effort to keep heat in, loss of body muscle and fat, dizziness and headaches, complaints of often feeling cold, fainting spells, inability to sleep, exhaustion and their period stopping or never starting. The psychological characteristics of anorexics may include an obsession with weight and complaining of weight problems, obsession with continuous exercise, visible food restriction and self-starvation, isolation and fear of eating around and with others, self-defeating statements after food consumption, low self-esteem, needing acceptance from others, perfectionistic personality, mood swings, and depression.

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Unseen dangers of an anorexic are a shrunken heart with an irregular beat, low body temperature, brittle bones, low blood pressure, slower pulse, and stunted growth. Self- starvation, if not treated, eventually leads to heart and kidney disorders, organ failure, and death. There are many reasons why a young girl becomes anorexic, but in many cases, the girls are high achievers and try to please those around them. They may be the girls you know that are straight-A students and have busy schedules. This perfectionistic personality leads them to believe that to make their family, friends, teachers, and coaches happy, they need to be perfect, and thin. Although they seem as though they have everything going for them, they have low self-esteem and may not want to grow up. Many cases develop at the ages of 11 or 18, the beginning and end of adolescence when girls at both stages are entering a new phase in life.

In past cases, the typical anorexic was a white teenage girl from a middle-class good home. Now, anyone can suffer from anorexia, including teenage boys. Anything can trigger the girl into thinking she must be thin. Sometimes constant teasing from classmates and peers can make a girl believe that if she were thin, nobody would be making fun of her. A sexually, physically, or mentally abusive parent may trigger a girl into thinking she has to be perfect. The girl starts off on a diet, usually not very serious. She will start restricting what foods she eats and how much. Instead of a normal 2200 calories a day diet, she may drop to 1200, or 800 calories a day. When someone comments on how good she looks, or that she has lost a few pounds, she thinks, “If they think I look good now, wait until they see me 5 pounds lighter, then 5 pounds lighter than that.”

Eventually, the girl is starving herself, eating only very low calorie, low-fat foods, such as a handful of grapes, two spoonfuls of yogurt, and a few sips of water as a meal. Soon, she gets used to being hungry, and she physically cannot eat food. Eating disorders are common in sports that emphasize being thin. According to a 1992 American College of Sports Medicine Study, eating disorders affect nearly 62% of females in sports such as figure skating, ballet, and gymnastics. Many athletes develop eating disorders to please coaches or judges. One comment from a coach or judge to lose a few pounds to get an extra lift on a flip can cause serious damage to the athlete. In the case of Christy Henrich, at the 1988 meeting, a US judge told her she was too fat and needed to lose weight if she wanted to make the Olympic Team. She battled anorexia and bulimia for six years. Her lowest weight was 47 pounds. On July 26, 1994, at the age of 22, she died of multiple organ failures at a hospital.

Those athletes that are especially at risk are ballet dancers. They have great pressure to have the ballet physique, the look of the genre of the veritably, the length of the spine, the open stance, and the lean look. The young dancer feels if she never has these features, she will never be a great dancer. All during class dancers are told to hold up their stomachs, so they have a thin profile. Also, they are constantly looking in mirrors and comparing themselves to the other dancers in the class. They are seeing who is thinner than they are, and think they need to lose weight to be the best dancer in the class. The sad thing about anorexia is many never totally overcome it. They may spend time in a hospital at the beginning of their treatment, to gain back lost weight. They have to go to many psychologists and therapists to resolve conflicts and improve self-esteem. Many patients may seem to recover, just to fall back into starving themselves, or other harmful eating patterns.

Up to 30% of all anorexics die of complications of the disorder, or from suicide from depression. With psychiatric help, about 1/3 of all patients overcome this disorder. An important thing for anorexics to remember is that they are not alone. Many normal teenage girls fall into the dangerous disorder of anorexia. It may seem like the famous actresses, models, and those girls in your school have everything, and that they are perfect, but the truth is everyone is insecure about themselves, and nobody is ever happy all the time. Anorexia is such a dangerous disorder that nobody should starve themselves to have the perfect body society makes them believe they must have.


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  • Eating Disorders.?Nutrition and Fitness. MacMillan Health Encyclopedia. 1993 ed.
  • Thompson, Colleen. ?Athletes and Eating Disorders.? Online.
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  •  Eating Disorders in Ballet Dancers. Online. Available

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Anorexia Essay. (2021, Mar 31). Retrieved June 15, 2021, from