Eating disorder paper-Psych 357

Eating disorder paper-Psych 357 - Running head...

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Running head: Sociocultural Contributions 1 Angela Garza Graduate School Application Writing Sample 9/30/07 Eating disorders affect as many as five million Americans, posing serious medical and psychological threats. These disorders occur about ten times more frequently in women than men, ranking as the third most common chronic illness in young women. In fact, ninety to ninety-five percent of those diagnosed with an eating disorder are women (Hesse-Biber, Leavy, Quinn, & Zoino, 2006). Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the two eating disorders that have been studied and researched the most over time and in different cultures. Anorexia became recognized as a medical disorder in the 19 th century, but the psychological aspects of it did not surface until the first half of the 20 th century. Bulimia nervosa was originally considered a symptom of anorexia until 1979 when it was given a separate diagnostic entity. It is believed to be four to five times more common than anorexia (Hesse-Biber, et al., 2006). Eating disorders are more common in Western cultures. Sociocultural factors associated with modernization of society and social environmental influences support disordered eating and body image dissatisfaction. Increased vulnerability for developing these disorders is shown through social transition (immigration) which contributes to the risk across ethnic/racial groups. These diseases can often become lethal over time and a cure is far from existence. Instead, prevention needs to begin with a change in the society and cultures’ values/ideals in order to end spreading the risk of these diseases to our children and future generations. Both anorexia and bulimia have previously been described as possible “culture-bound
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Eating disorder paper-Psych 357 - Running head...

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