An eating disorder is an illness that involves an unhealthy feeling about the food we eat. "Eating disorders affect 5-10 millions Americans and 70 million individuals worldwide" (web 1). They also affect many people from women, men, children, from all ages and different races. People who have eating disorders usually see themselves as being fat when they really aren't. This usually deals with women or teenage girls mostly. They watch television, movies, read articles in magazines, and see pictures of the celebrities whom they want to be like because they have the "ideal body" that everyone wants and craves for.

The media makes us all think we need those types of bodies to be happy with ourselves, be more successful in life, and be perfect. Starving yourself or eating less amounts of food doesn't help you get the "ideal body" that you desire to have. This shows that you lack self-esteem and only want to see what other people see in life. This may impinge on people who are alone and want to get attention and by doing this they want to be thin. There are many different kinds of eating disorders that people are affected with. For example, there is Anorexia Nervosa, which deals with not eating regularly or eats little amounts of food or not eating at all.

There is also Bulimia Nervosa, which is when a person eats a large amount of food and then binges or purges after to get rid of the food they just put into the body. Lastly there is the Binge eating disorder. This disorder is when a person keeps a secret from everyone of their excessive eating." Women make up more than 90 percent of people with these eating disorders" (web 1)." However, young women are most vulnerable, particularly between the ages 15-25 years" (web 1). Women are more likely to be anorexic, because they always see other women with thin bodies and feel pressured to want to be like them. They may be alone or divorced and may need attention so they look for ways to get that attention from people. "The women suffer with feelings of self-hate, worthlessness, low self-esteem, and they usually feel that in order to be happy, they must be thin" (web 1).

Women in the business industry feel they don't get enough attention from people so in order to heighten their career, they put themselves out there to have the perfect body to get people's attention. People should respect women more and see what we have accomplished in life and (not bother looking outside the box and) appreciate us for what we look like but like us more for what we are inside. But in order to do this we need to stop looking at other people and seeing what's missing from ourselves. Stop buying the magazines and diet products, stop looking at the people in television and movies, and just be us. We need to have more confidence in ourselves and show other people what we can get in life without having the perfect body. People who have Anorexia Nervosa have this fear of gaining weight so they result by not eating regularly or eat little amounts of food or not eating at all.

People see themselves as being fat but instead they are skinny. "Anorexics usually strive for perfection" (web 1). So in doing this they feel like not eating anything can make them look perfect and have the body they want. "The lack of food can cause a person to become very thin, develop brittle hair and nails, dry skin, and a low pulse, become not able to stand the cold, and suffer from constipation and sometimes diarrhea" (Hendrick 3). Anorexics put other people's feelings in front of theirs. They also feel that the only thing in their lives is food and their weight and this shows that they have low self-esteem for themselves.

"Signs and symptoms are noticeable weight loss, becoming withdrawn, excessive exercise, fatigue, always being cold, and muscle weakness" (web 1). There are many more signs and symptoms for this illness. "An estimated 10 to 20% will eventually die from complications related to it" (web 1)." Some experts believe Binge Eating Disorder is the most common eating disorder" (web 4). This is a disorder caused by eating a great amount of foods in a quick way until that person is full and feels anxiety. After this that person would feel bad and in order to resolve the feeling they will purge. Purging is basically throwing up all the food that has been consumed.

"Many individuals who suffer with binge eating disorder use food as a way to cope with or block out feelings and emotions they do not want to feel" (web 1). Many of these people with a binge eating disorder try to keep this disorder a secret from everyone else and also would eat alone. "Signs and symptoms are weight gain, feeling out of control over eating, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, experiences fluctuations in weight, loss of sexual desire, hiding food, feelings of guilt and shame, disgusted with self, and going on many diets" (web 1). There are more signs and symptoms like this." Binge Eating Disorder often starts out in the late teenage years or early adult years" (Hendrick 4).

This is most common because it starts earlier in your life in which you are trying to be skinny because you feel fat in a way. "Binge Eating Disorder also increases a person's risk for gallbladder disease, heart disease, and some types of cancer. People with Binge Eating Disorder often suffer from depression" (Hendrick 4)." Treatment for Eating Disorders is most often a difficult process" (Nardo 57). Treatments for eating disorders are more effective in the beginning of the illness so it should be treated right away. A person can seek medical care in which there are different kinds of therapies. One in particular is called psychotherapy, which is also called talk therapy or counseling therapy.

The doctor tries to see what the patient's feelings and emotions are. "Professionals who provide psychotherapy can be therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, or counselors" (Hendrick 6). There is also a therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy which helps the person think of a situation in which they feel afraid or fearful about. They also give you medicine, which helps the person avoid a relapse of the illness. If you do not seek help you can damage your body, cause major health problems, and even death. But if you do seek help, you can increasingly build up your self-esteem that helps cope with the illness.

Bibliography #1 - Thompson, Colleen. Eating Disorders. Internet Explorer December 9, 2002#2 - Thompson, Colleen. Children. Internet Explorer December 9, 2002#3 - Thompson, Colleen. Women.

Internet Explorer December 9, 2002#4 - Thompson, Colleen. Binge Eating Disorder. Internet Explorer December 9, 2002#5 - Thompson, Colleen. Anorexia Nervosa. Internet Explorer December 9, 2002#6 - Thompson, Colleen. Bulimia Nervosa.

Internet Explorer December 9, 2002#7 - Hendrick, Victoria Eating Disorders. Internet Explorer July 2002#8 - Spearing, Melissa. Eating Disorders. Internet Explorer. August 6, 2002#9 - Anonymous.

EDA. What is an Eating Disorder? Internet Explorer. March 31, 2004#10 - Anonymous. Eating Disorders Statistics. Internet Explorer.

web - Harmon, Dan. Anorexia Nervosa Starving for Attention. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers 1999#12 - Nardo, Dan. Eating Disorders. San Diego, California: Lucent Books, Inc.

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