Persuasive Essays On Anorexia

Essay on Eating Disorder - Dying to Be Thin

  • Length: 437 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
Dying to Be Thin

Seeing an empty box of over-the-counter diet pills in the bathroom at school a couple of weeks ago really got me thinking: what is the ideal body image that we throw at teenagers today? More and more we see people equate success and popularity with beauty and, especially, with being thin. The media, one of the biggest influences on young people, is crammed with images of "the perfect body," and American life seems to revolve around health clubs, diet pills, and fat-free foods. As contributing factors to eating disorders continue to rise in everyday life, so do the statistics. Fifteen percent of the teenagers diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa will die this year, and as many as 1 in 5 college students are engaging in some form of bulimic behavior. Anorexia is found chiefly in adolescents, especially young women, and female anorexics outnumber males 15 to 1. With numbers this high, someone you know, literally, may be dying to be thin.

In medicine, Anorexia Nervosa is a condition characterized by an intense fear of weight gain or becoming obese, as well as a distorted body image. An anorexic will claim to "feel fat" even when emaciated, and will refuse to maintain a normal, minimal body weight. Visible signs of Anorexia include:

* fear of food and situations where food may be present;

* rigid exercise regimes;

* dressing in layers to hide weight loss;

* use of laxatives, enemas or diuretics to get rid of food.

Treatment techniques for Anorexia include family therapy, group therapy, support or self-help groups, and individual psychotherapy. Given the proper treatment, approximately 50% of diagnosed anorexics will recover completely within 2 to 5 years.

Bulimia, characterized by compulsive binge-eating and purging, is very closely related to Anorexia Nervosa. Victims of these two disorders may share many of the same behaviors and concerns, especially the intense fear of becoming fat. For bulimics, food becomes an obsession and an addiction. Some visible signs include:

* strict dieting followed by eating binges;

* disappearing after a meal;

* excessive concerns about weight;

* expressing guilt or shame about eating.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Essay on Eating Disorder - Dying to Be Thin." 11 Mar 2018

LengthColor Rating 
Dying to be Thin Essays - Dying to be Thin Anorexia and bulimia are the most common eating disorders today. They are both psychological disorders with an obsession of food and weight. There are many misconceptions in today’s society about anorexia and bulimia. Mainly that they are the same disorder, nevertheless they are not, they are very different. Anorexia and bulimia are serious, life threatening eating disorders that affect millions of people every year, however their differences in symptoms, effects, and treatment might surprise you....   [tags: Anorexia, Bulimia, Eating Disorders]
:: 4 Works Cited
1143 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay on Eating Disorders: Just Dying to be Perfect - As the "ideal" women’s body has become progressively thinner over the past decades, the eating disorder anorexia has become progressively more prevalent. Anorexia is a disease in which a person eats nothing beyond minimal amounts of food so that her body weight drops dangerously. It is no wonder with all of the cultural messages of thinness being aimed at women, that 90-95% of anorexics are female, 25.7% of all female ballet dancers are anorexic, and that the percentages are similarly high for female models and athletes (Malson, 1998)....   [tags: Eating Disorders Essays]
:: 20 Works Cited
5630 words
(16.1 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay on Students With Eating Disorders - Introduction Right now there are students on every college campus slowly killing themselves. Every day they are getting closer and closer to death. Most have become experts at keeping their condition hidden and walk around looking just as any other higher education student. Some show no signs or clues of this slow death. Many of these dying students are active on campus and have 4.0 GPAs, others dart around campus going unseen, but both are inflicting painful self-induced deaths. This may sound extremely dramatic, but that is exactly what eating disorders are, for these students and for anyone who has an eating disorder death is one of the most undeniable and likely outcomes....   [tags: college students, eating disorders, anorexia]
:: 9 Works Cited
1721 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Essay on Eating Disorder - Anorexia Nervosa - Anorexia Nervosa There may be murmurs about that girl who only fixes herself a salad with only vinegar at dining services or suspicious glances at someone who spends 45 minutes on the treadmill and then switches to the stair stepper at the rec. On-campus eating disorders are talked about everywhere and yet are not really talked about at all. There is observation, concern, and gossip, but hushed conversation and larger scale efforts to help and change never seem to earn public attention....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]1306 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
The Epidemic of Eating Disorders Essay - Three percent of Americans doesn’t seem like that many, but when you look at it with people who have eating disorders it’s shocking. Ever since the thoughts on being thin came around young women couldn’t get enough on the idea. Pulling the horrifying parts of eating disorders out and making them look trendy and glamorous. Something that could’ve been an inspiration to lose weight and be healthy plummeted and made thinness seem like the necessity. The lovely motivation to be healthy turned into a ton of young girls starving themselves and dying just to be skinny (Zoltan)....   [tags: health, anorexia]
:: 6 Works Cited
1397 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Toddlers and Tiaras: Child Beaty Pageants Essay - In 2009, TLC aired a reality television show entitled Toddlers and Tiaras. It was instantly a hit with home viewers and also brought major controversy over child beauty pageants. The show focused mainly on glitz pageants; which requires all contestant, however young, to compete with make-up, spray tans, acrylic nails and revealing costumes. Many, such as I were entertained at first with the pint size Barbie dolls; however after watching a couple episodes, controlling stage moms and toddler melt downs reveal that glitz beauty pageants are nothing less than objectification and exploitation of young girls....   [tags: t.v. show, eating disorders]1885 words
(5.4 pages)
Term Papers[preview]
Food for Thought: Anorexia Eating Disorder Essay - Actors, models, athletes, bodybuilders, singers, all of them, are at the pinnacle of marketing. Their images are engraved into the brains of the unacquainted consumers of the media, subconsciously becoming the number one focus. Consequently, a want is seeded in the brains of the fans, later becoming powerful enough to become a need. Diet, exercise, self identity, so many factors come into hand when looking for change, and many will take extremes measures to achieve their goals. Millions of people of which thousands have and have had years of traditions and customs influence their lives, have developed a psychological phenomenon....   [tags: succeed, disorder, eating, habits]733 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Are Looks Worth It? Essay - Are Looks Worth It. I was recently coming back from Parris Island, SC on a Greyhound bus when I noticed a young girl around my age sitting next to the window across the isle; she looked a lot like me, tall and slim. I did not think anything of it because I have a very fast metabolism and I eat all the time but can not gain weight. Well we stopped to get food and I noticed that she got stuff from McDonalds and was quietly eating her food. About ten minutes after she got done she ran to the back of the bus and into the bathroom....   [tags: Eating Disorders Anorexia Health Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1458 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Developing an Eating Disorder Essay - Why is it that people develop eating disorders. There is no simple explanation, and no one answer that applies everyone. There are several types of eating disorders, but the most prevalent in adolescent and young adult females are anorexia nervosa and bulimia (Larocca, 1986). There are six main areas that potentially explain just why it is that people succumb to anorexia and bulimia. These factors are biological, psychological, family, social, cultural, and media (Siegel, Brisman & Weinshel, 2002)....   [tags: Eating Disorders Health Psychology Essays]2198 words
(6.3 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay on Eating Disorders - An eating disorder is a serious health condition involving extremely unhealthy dietary habits. There are a number of accepted eating disorder treatments that depend on the symptoms and severity of the illness. The most effective treatments involve both psychological as well as physical issues with the ultimate goal being a healthy dietary lifestyle. The team approach to treatment involves professionals with experience in eating disorders that usually includes a medical provider, mental health workers, registered dieticians and case managers....   [tags: Eating Disorders, ]408 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

Related Searches

Thin         Eating Disorder         Body Weight         Diet Pills         Family Therapy         Contributing Factors         Perfect Body         American Life         Young Women        

Bulimia predominantly affects young women, although 5-10% of its victims are male, and is more widespread than Anorexia. Bulimia is treated in much the same way as Anorexia, but has a higher success rate for recovery.

With proper treatment, teenagers can be relieved of the symptoms of Anorexia and Bulimia and can be helped to control these disorders. Help from family members, early detection, and especially an acceptance of people of all shapes and sizes by society will help lower the statistics and lead to fewer teenagers with these terrible conditions.

Free Essays brought to you by

Eating Disorders - Are Women Dying to be Beautiful?

Many women are concerned with their appearance. Too many of them are caught up with the image of being skinny and pretty. By seeing all the beautiful, thin women in the media and in society, they may feel insecure about the way they look. Therefore, they try and do anything they can to acquire that appearance. Methods they use to try and achieve this are by self-starvation, known as Anorexia, or induced vomiting, known as Bulimia. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are only two of the eating disorders that often result from their incessant desire to be thin and "beautiful."

Eating disorders, such as these, also occur amongst men. However, it is less common. "Standards for males simply are not as extreme or as inimical to normal body builds as are women's standards" (Fallon, Katzman, and Wooley 8). It is not just the biological aspect, though, that makes this occur more often in women. Fallon, Katzman, and Wooley claim

On even a practical level, women's self-image, their social and

economic success and even their survival can still be determined

largely by their beauty and by the men it allows them to attract,

while for men these are based largely on how they act and what

they accomplish. Looks simply are of secondary importance for

male success. (9)

Beauty and fashion are also in part with their desire for social acceptance and success. Women try to meet an unreasonable weight standard because fashion requires them to. Men are encouraged to be strong and powerful. As they work to develop their power in the gym and at work, they associate "thin" with "skinny" and "weak." Even though female models often look frail, (which men hate in themselves), female thinness is not classified as "skinny." Instead it is popular and defined as glamorous and sexy. This maybe helps explain why only five-to-ten percent of people with eating disorders are male.

Anorexia nervosa is the persistent pursuit of thinness. A person suffering from this eating disorder refuses to maintain normal body weight for his/her age and height. He/she weigh eighty-five percent or less than what is expected for their age and height, and deny the dangers of low weight. He/she is terrified of gaining weight and becoming fat, even though they are distinctly underweight. Young girls do not begin to menstruate at the appropriate age, and in women, menstrual periods stop. In men, sex hormones fall. Also, often included with anorexia nervosa are depression, irritability, withdrawal, and peculiar behaviors such as strange eating habits.

Bulimia nervosa is the diet-binge-purge disorder. A person with this eating disorder binge eats and feels out of control while eating. He/she vomits, misuses laxatives, exercises, or fasts to get rid of the calories. Dieting is done when not bingeing but then he/she becomes hungry and binges again. He/she believes self-worth requires being thin. Their weight may be normal, unless anorexia is also present. Like anorexia, bulimia can kill. Bulimics act cheerful but are often depressed, lonely, ashamed, and empty inside. Also, due to their feelings of unworthiness and difficulty talking about their feelings, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and deeply buried anger is almost always included. There is a great deal of other eating disorders, but anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most common.

What causes eating disorders? There is not one simple answer as to why they do this to themselves. One factor is biological. Research suggests that abnormal levels of brain chemicals incline some people to anxiety, perfectionism, and obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors. These people are more vulnerable to eating disorders than others.

Another factor is psychological. People with eating disorders may have unrealistic expectations of themselves and others. To them, everything is good or bad, a success or a failure, fat or thin. "If fat is bad and thin is good, then thinner is better, and thinnest is best-even if thinnest is sixty-eight pounds in a hospital bed on life support" (Anorexia Nervosa). Some people with eating disorders use them to try and take control of themselves and their lives. They, as well, often lack a sense of identity. They try to define themselves by developing a socially approved and accepted exterior. They also frequently are rightfully angry, and do not know how to express their anger in healthy ways. They turn it against themselves by starving or stuffing.

Family may be a factor. Parents who overvalue physical appearance can unintentionally contribute to an eating disorder. On the other hand, so can those who make critical comments, even jokingly, about their children's bodies. These families tend to be overprotective, rigid, and ineffective at solving conflict. There are often high expectations of achievement and success they feel they need to fulfill. The children try to resolve their problems by controlling weight and food.

Another factor is social. Television, movies, and magazines are examples of media that bombard people with messages about the "advantages" of being thin. "Impressionable readers and viewers are told, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly by the actors and models that are chosen for display, that goodness, success, power, approval, popularity, admiration, intelligence, friends, and romantic relationships all require physical beauty in general and thinness in particular" (Anorexia Nervosa). Females are affected by eating disorders and cultural demands for thinness. Women, these days, have been urged to be as thin as is currently fashionable.

Triggers are other factors that can cause eating disorders. If people are vulnerable to eating disorders, sometimes all it takes to start them is a trigger event that they do not know how to handle. A trigger could be something as harmless as teasing or as devastating as rape or incest. Triggers often happen at times of transition where increased demands are made on people who already are unsure of their ability to meet expectations. Dieting is probably the most common trigger of disordered eating. "It is a bit simplistic, but nonetheless true, to say that if there were no dieting, there would be no anorexia nervosa. Neither would there be the bulimia that people create when they diet..." (Anorexia Nervosa).

We live in a culture where it is normal to feel that we should be thinner, prettier, firmer, and altogether better. "We dedicate our time, energy, and obsessive attention-in short, our lives- to trying to "fix" our bodies and make them "right" (Fallon, Katzman, and Wooley 152). Our troubled relationship to our bodies turns into our troubled relationship to our selves, and is the cause of the outbreak of eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. The relationship between self and body not only supports women's disordered eating, but is also the foundation of their identity. It is an issue that contains the junction of mind, body, and culture. A start to the treatment of disordered eating is to deal with the negative body image that the person has. The occurrence of negative body images in girls is due to their feeling that they need to live within the safety of a "perfect" image that exists in the culture. Body image is the image of the body that the person sees with the mind's eye. It is a product of the mind's imagination and is not to be confused with the real image the body projects to an outside observer. For example, common with anorexia, a person feels fat when, in reality, they are very thin. They look in the mirror and instead of seeing their physical appearance; they see the image of themselves that they create in their mind.

Over time, being thin has become the goal of many women. "...thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal" (Wolf 482). To be beautiful is what everyone strives for. To several women, "thin is beautiful." The ideal female weight is represented by actresses, models, and Miss Americas. "Consequently, 90-95% of American women feel that they don't 'measure up'" (Fallon, Katzman, and Wooley 8). Therefore, they will do anything to "measure up" and meet the standards the actresses, models, and Miss Americas exhibit.

Being a teenager, I feel that we live in a culture where being thin is attractive. I feel this way because throughout high school, a majority of the guys would pine after the thin, pretty girls. The girls, "with meat on them," would often be jealous of, therefore, feeling they are not thin enough to be beautiful. Low self-esteem and eating disorders would then result from these feelings. I, personally, do not think that "thin is beautiful." Not only by your exterior, but what kind of a person you are and what you have inside, makes you beautiful.

Works Cited

Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc. Updated September 2001. November 27, 2001.

Fallon, Patricia, Melanie A. Katzman, and Susan C. Wooley, eds. Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders. New York: Guilford Press, 1994.

Wolf, Naomi. "The Beauty Myth." Signs of Life. 3rd edition. Comp. and ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. New York: St. Martin's Press. 2000. 481-89.

Beth Decker wrote this essay. Please do not use any part of it without her consent!

Partner sites: Bulldog, Study Spanish in Mexico, and The Great Gatsby

0 Replies to “Persuasive Essays On Anorexia”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *