“How to reach the ideal body type?”, “How to look like a model?”, “How to lose 10 lbs in 3 days?”… These titles are so popular in our daily lives. With the mind-blowing improvements in technology, social media grows excessively. We watch television, movies, read articles in magazines, and see pictures of the celebrities whom we want to be like because they have the “ideal body” that everyone wants and craves. The media makes us all think we need those types of bodies to be happy with ourselves, to be more successful, and to be loved. But, are does pictures that we see on social media are true? We don’t even consider the fact that they are also humans; we just see their “best” pictures with the best angle and lighting. To have a certain body type, which has a “certain measurement”, we obsessively count calories, starve ourselves, and eventually start some eating disorders.
Although the term eating is in the name, eating disorders are not all about food. They’re complex mental health conditions that often require the intervention of medical and psychological experts to alter their course. Women and teenage girls usually tend to struggle with this problem. However, these disorders are becoming more and more frequent in men. In America, surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives as the National Eating Association states. There are different types of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorders, pica, rumination disorder, and restrictive food intake disorder. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most common disorders.
People who have anorexia nervosa have this fear of gaining weight so they don’t eat regularly or eat little amounts of food or not eating at all. People see themselves as being fat but instead, they are skinny. Some common symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:
- being considerably underweight compared with people of similar age and height
- a distorted body image, including denial of being seriously underweight
- intense fear of gaining weight or persistent behaviors to avoid gaining weight, despite being underweight
- a heavy influence of body weight or perceived body shape on self-esteem
People with bulimia frequently eat unusually large amounts of food in a specific period of time. Each binge eating episode usually continues until the person becomes painfully full. During a binge, the person usually feels that they cannot stop eating or control how much they are eating. They eat excessive food in a short period of time. Binges can happen with any type of food but most commonly occur with foods the individual would normally avoid. Also, they generally start these binge-eating episodes when they are alone. Individuals with bulimia then attempt to purge to compensate for the calories consumed and relieve gut discomfort. Some common symptoms of bulimia nervosa:
- episodes of binge eating
- purging behaviors to prevent weight gain
- fear of gaining weight
Pica is another eating disorder that involves eating things that are not considered food such as ice, soil, chalk, hair, cornstarch… Individuals with pica may be at an increased risk of poisoning, infections, gut injuries, and nutritional deficiencies. Depending on the substances ingested, pica may cause vital health problems.
This is a condition in which a person regurgitates food they have previously chewed and swallowed, re-chews it, and then either re-swallows it or spits it out.
Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
People with this eating disorder tend to undereat and avoid certain types of food. They restrict food intake to prevent the person from eating sufficient calories and nutrients.
Even though these disorders are really important and detrimental to both a person’s physical and psychological health, they are treatable. But, this treatment needs to be urgent. We do not have to look at a certain body type to be worthy. We are all unique creatures with unique characteristics. We are whole a lot more than our looks. Also, be mindful that people that we admire and reach their body type are also human. They have bad days and good days. They have pimples. They bloat. They don’t go to the gym or eat 100% healthily every day. It is our choice to do these things in our time. This life is ours. We have to live it for ourself not waste it look like someone else because we are the main character in our story. We are beautiful.
 “Eating Disorders Essay – 1228 Words | Bartleby.” Bartleby Research, http://www.bartleby.com/essay/Eating-Disorders-FKCBFYFYTC. Accessed 12 Oct. 2021.
 Petre, Alina M. “6 Common Types of Eating Disorders (and Their Symptoms).” Healthline, 30 Oct. 2019, http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-eating-disorders#bottom-line.
 “What Are Eating Disorders?” Web Starter Kit, http://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/eating-disorders/what-are-eating-disorders. Accessed 12 Oct. 2021.
 image only https://www.powerofpositivity.com/eating-disorder-behaviors/