Final Research Paper Draft

Final Research Paper Draft - Zielinski 1 Kersten Zielinski...

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Zielinski 1 Kersten Zielinski Final Research Paper ENGL 111 MW 5:30-6:50 December 12, 2007 Dying to Be Thin Every year eating disorders affect thousands of teenagers and young adults because they are not satisfied with their figure. More and more we see people associate success and popularity with beauty and 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 diet pills, health clubs, and fat-free foods. As contributing factors to eating disorders continue to rise in everyday life, so do the figures. In the United States, conservative estimates indicate that after puberty, 5-10% of girls and women (that translates to 5-10 million girls and women) and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders (“Statistics”). This problem needs to be addressed by parents, physicians, and especially the media. An eating disorder is an illness in which a person experiences severe disturbances in eating behavior, such as an extreme reduction of food intake or overeating, feelings of extreme distress, and/or concern about body weight or shape. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control. Eating disorders are very complex, and despite scientific research to understand them, the biological, behavioral and social underpinnings of these illnesses remain elusive (United States. National Institute). The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third category is “eating disorders not otherwise specified,” or EDNOS, which includes several variations of eating disorders. Most of these disorders are similar to anorexia or bulimia but with slightly different characteristics.
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Zielinski 2 Eating disorders frequently appear during adolescence or young adulthood, but some reports indicate that they can develop during childhood or later in adulthood. Eating disorders are much more prevalent in females than in males, but men and boys account for an estimated 5 to 15 percent of patients with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge- eating disorder. However, recent studies have shown that incidence and prevalence rates are increasing among males. Currently, there is approximately one male case to ten female cases. On top of that, up to one in four children referred to an eating disorders professional for anorexia is a boy. Many boys with eating disorders share the same characteristics as their female counterparts, including low self-esteem, the need to be accepted, an inability to cope with emotional pressures, and family relationships. Males with eating disorders are most commonly seen in specific subgroups. For instance, males who wrestle show a disproportionate increase in eating disorders, rates seven to ten times the normal. Additionally, homosexual males have an increased rate of
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Final Research Paper Draft - Zielinski 1 Kersten Zielinski...

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