The Influence of Society on Eating Disorders

The Influence of Society on Eating Disorders - Eating...

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Eating disorders 4 The Influence of Society on Eating Disorders Eating disorders, a rarity about thirty years ago, have now become an epidemic, and everyone in our society has or has had a relative, or a schoolmate, or a friend, or a daughter with anorexia or bulimia (Giordano 2005). They affect an estimated 5 million Americans every year. These illnesses — anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and their variants — are characterized by a serious disturbance in eating, such as restriction of intake or bingeing, as well as distress or excessive concern about body shape or body weight (Becker, Grinspoon, Herzog, & Klibanski, 1999). So what is it that causes these disorders? Many people seem to believe that the way Western society was shaped in the past and how its media portrays women are the main causes of the disorders. Giordano observes that the mania of thinness has obsessed Western women since the 1800s, with beauty manuals and magazines of the time presenting fat as an element that spoils the beauty and the forms of female grace. Although it was known that the tight lacing and corsets they used might be detrimental to health, a slender waist was imperative and the practice of tightening females’ stomachs was commonplace. Giordano continues to point out an interesting parallel between the practices of
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course FYF 101 taught by Professor Allen during the Spring '08 term at Wilkes.

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The Influence of Society on Eating Disorders - Eating...

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