Numerous facts prove the assumption that eating disorders are no longer the problem of an individual, but rather the problem of whole society. There are two main types of eating disorders – anorexia and bulimia. The majority of diseases are similar to anorexia or bulimia but have slightly different characteristics. Recently, overeating has also attracted the attention of researchers and the media; it is a type of eating disorder as well. Although eating disorders are primarily observed in women and girls, men and boys are also subject to the risk. People with eating disorders can also suffer from numerous physiological complications such as heart diseases or kidney failure, which can lead to death.
Social importance of the problem of eating disorders is defined by the threat of disability of younger patients and decreased overall survival due to frequent development of severe comorbidities. These include: diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis and related disorders, sleep apnea syndrome, hyperuricemia, gout, reproductive dysfunction, gallstones, osteoarthritis, some cancers (in women – endometrial cancer, cervical, ovarian, breast; in men – prostate cancer; colon cancer in both sexes), varicose veins of the lower limbs, and hemorrhoids. Eating disorders reduce resistance to colds and infectious diseases, and in addition greatly increase the risk of complications after surgery and traumas. Therefore, the problem of eating disorders is becoming increasingly important and emerges as a threat to the social life of people. This problem occurs regardless of the social and professional status, area of residence, age, and gender. . In general, the prevalence of these diseases in developed countries is so high that it has become a major social problem, not less important than, for example, HIV or AIDS.
Eating Disorders as a Social Problem
Eating disorders in connection with the pathology of internal organs or mental disorders have long been known to physicians of different specialties and were described in detail in the relevant literature. However, in the late 20th century doctors in developed countries faced numerous cases of eating disorders in girls and young women, whose condition was generally healthy. This form of disease was called “anorexia nervosa”, i.e. lack of appetite emerging due to the nervous condition. Today the complex of eating disorders includes several different disorders and is one of the most widespread health problems. According to Gordon (2001), “the rise of eating disorders in the United States and Western Europe… is a modern epidemic and has coincided with a number of sweeping changes in Western societies in the second half of the 20th century” (p. 2). Numerous facts prove the assumption that eating disorders are no longer the problem of individual, but rather the problem of the whole society.
The Facts about Eating Disorders
Until the mid-20 th hundred years, cases of anorexia in addition to bulimia were extremely unusual. For instance , only 4 patients were hospitalized in Fresh York since 1916 in order to 1925. Only in the particular sixties an explosion inside the anorectic population took place. In the U. H. today more than a few million people suffer coming from eating disorders: about 5% of women and 1% of men (Ray, 2005, p. 98). More as compared to 90% of such disorders get started in adolescence.
Because to obesity, in the particular records of the period of ancient Egyptian, Ancient greek language, Roman and Indian civilizations it was already considered a vice. Literary sources contain aversion to obesity and the tendency toward control. It was noted by Hippocrates that lifestyle of overly obese individuals is short, and that will obese women are sterile. For the treatment associated with obesity he recommended to limit the amount associated with food eaten pay more attention to physical exercise. Fat, being typically the brilliant invention of character with a protective function in the past, has become impacting millions of people. In general, the thing is a global issue affecting all countries. According to WHO, there are more than 1. 7 million people who are overweight or obese. In many developed countries, 15 to be able to 25% of the grown-up population suffers from weight problems.
Recently, an increased incidence of obesity in children and adolescents has been observed all above the world: in created countries 25% of teenagers are overweight and 15% obese. Excess weight on childhood is a significant predictor of obesity within adulthood: 50% of youngsters who had excessive bodyweight in the age of 6 become obese like adults, and in teens this probability increases to be able to 80%.
Anorexia therapy occurs in 0. 5– 1% and bulimia nervosa in 0. 9– 4. 1% of the women adolescent and young adult population, while additional 5-13% suffer from partial syndrome bulimia and anorexia (WHO, 2005). While to the mortality prices, “ crude mortality rates are 4. 0% regarding anorexia nervosa, 3. 9% for bulimia nervosa, in addition to 5. 2% for ingesting disorder not otherwise specified” (Kaye, 2011).
Bulimia and anorexia are characterized by extremes. These kinds of occur when an individual is affected with severe eating problems, such as excessive decrease of food intake or perhaps severe overeating, the perception of extreme displeasure or stress about one’ s weight or body. An individual with this particular problem can start to eat only a little more or much less than usual, but shortly the desire to take in is out of manage. Eating disorders is an extremely serious issue, and despite considerable scientific efforts, the neurological, developmental and social elements remain hard to know.
There are a couple of most widespread types of eating disorders – anorexia and bulimia. Nearly all diseases are similar to beoing underweight or bulimia but have somewhat diverse features. Recently, overeating has attracted the attention of researchers and the media; that is a type associated with eating disorder as well.
Eating disorders repeatedly occur during puberty or early on adulthood, but some scientific studies show that they can occur in childhood or, on the other hand, in the adult age. The probability of an eating disorder in women and girls is higher than found in men. Among the total number of patients with anorexia or bulimia, men and boys by various quotes constitute from 5 to 15 percent. This portion is higher among sufferers suffering from overeating, building 35 percent (WHO, 2005). However, according to Shannon Ray, “ specific frequency rates among males will be difficult to determine and may be higher than reported due to ght hidden nature of anoresia or bulimia and the perception of which anoresia or bulimia arc found exclusively in females” (Ray, 2005, p. 98). Eating disorders are serious but curable diseases with complex psychological and biological roots. They are often accompanied by simply other dangerous psychiatric problems. Patients with eating conditions can also are afflicted by numerous physiological complications such as heart diseases threatening the life span of a patient.
The outward symptoms of anorexia nervosa consist of skinniness, persistent pursuit regarding a thin figure, and reluctance to keep up a normal body mass, a misrepresentation associated with body image and also a sturdy fear of being fat, abnormality of menstruation cycle in girls and ladies, and very troubling eating practices. Most patients with anorexia try to shed weight by means of an overly strict diet; the others lose a couple pounds by artificially induced vomiting or by abusing laxatives/ purgatives.
Individuals suffering from anorexia consider that they are overweight even when they are dying of hunger or obviously undernourished. An personal becomes obsessed with diet and weight control. Patients with anorexia typically consider all products, count calories, and eat only inside really small amounts and only certain products. Some individuals with anorexia recover regular diet after a single course of treatment, other people suffer from relapses. Folks with chronic anorexia endure more. In the program of many years, while they fight with the particular disease, your their actual physical health deteriorates.
Based to some studies, individuals with anorexia are 10x more likely to perish as a result of a typical disease as compared to people without disorders. The most common factors t death include cardiac arrest and imbalance regarding electrolytes and fluids in the body. There will be also a serious risk of suicide. Within a fairly large number regarding people with anorexia right now there are also mental plus psychological diseases such as depression, nervousness, obsessive conduct, substance abuse, circulatory and neurological disorders, and also issues of physical development.
Bulimia is connected with repeated episodes of usage of unusually large quantities of meals, plus the sense of uncontrollable wish to eat. The situations of overeating are followed by another type of actions that compensate with regard to overeating, for instance , purging (when a person artificially induces vomiting and frequently makes use of purgatives or diuretics), a new strict diet, and/or limited physical activity.
Unlike the cases of anorexic, the of people together with bulimia is normally within typically the norm for their grow older and height. Similar to patients suffering from anorexia, they are scared of starting to be fat, want anxiously in order to lose weight, and are really dissatisfied using the size in addition to shape of their physiques. Typically, episodes of hambre (binge food absorption) occur in secret, as they will often go together with the sensation of revulsion in addition to shame. Cycles of overindulge eating and cleaning on a regular basis repeat a couple of times a few days. Those who suffer coming from bulimia also suffer through mental health problems such like despair, nervousness, and/or material abuse. There usually are also physiological disorders triggered by episodes of getting rid of, such as electrolyte discrepancy, problems of gastro-intestinal area, as well as dental diseases.
Binge eating or compulsive overeating is also an eating disorder associated with repeated episodes of binge eating, during which an individual experiences lack of control over the process of eating. Binge eating is not supplemented by purging, exercise or diet. Due to this fact people suffering from compulsive overeating are often overweight or fat. This disorder is connected with the sense of guilt and shame, which can lead to more bouts of overeating. Obese people suffering from binge eating often have comorbid psychiatric disorders such as nervousness, despair, and personality disorders. Furthermore, there is a direct link between obesity, circulatory disease, and hypertension.
While eating disorders are mainly observed in women and girls, men and boys are also subject to risk. Every forth teenager with anorexia is male. Eating disorders affect men and women equally. As well as women suffering from eating disorders, men have a distorted attitude towards their bodies and often suffer from body dismorphic disorder.
The same type of disorder which is associated by a greater concern for the body often leads to excessive muscle building. While some individuals with eating disorder want to lose weight, other patients want to gain it. Those who think that they are too thin are at a higher risk of using steroids or other hazardous drugs to grow the muscle mass. Men with eating disorders have the same set of emotional, somatic, and behavioral problems and symptoms as women, but for different reasons it is more difficult to diagnose their condition correctly, because eating disorders are stereotypically believed to be a purely female problem.
Social importance of the problem of eating disorders is defined by the threat of disability of younger patients and decreased overall survival due to frequent development of severe comorbidities. These include: diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis and related disorders, sleep apnea syndrome, hyperuricemia, gout, reproductive dysfunction, gallstones, osteoarthritis, some cancers (in women – endometrial cancer, cervical, ovarian, breast; in men – prostate cancer; colon cancer in both sexes), varicose veins of the lower limbs, and hemorrhoids. Eating disorders reduce resistance to colds and infectious diseases, and in addition greatly increase the risk of complications after surgery and traumas. Therefore, the problem of eating disorders is becoming increasingly important and emerges as a threat to the social life of people. This problem occurs regardless of the social and professional status, area of residence, age, and gender.
The problem of well-being of people suffering from eating disorders in today’s society is quite urgent, massive, and socially significant. Modern society provokes unintentional obesity in its citizens promoting the consumption of high-calorie foods that contain a large share of fat, and at the same time, due to technological progress, it promotes a sedentary lifestyle. In the same way modern representations of beauty and life success stimulate anorexia.
A lot of social and technological factors have contributed to the rising prevalence of obesity in recent decades. The World Health Organizatiion (WHO) has concluded that the main cause of obesity epidemic in the world is the lack of labor and spontaneous physical activity, combined with the excessive consumption of fatty, high-calorie foods. Obesity considerably reduces life expectancy by an average of 3-5 years with a little overweight, and by 15 years in patients with severe obesity. Nearly two out of three human deaths occur from diseases associated with disorders of metabolism (WHO, 2005).
Eating disorders represent a “disease of epidemic proportions and a social problem” (Gard & Wright, 2005, p. 182). Most people suffer not only from the diseases connected with eating disorders and mobility limitation, but they also have low self-esteem, depression, emotional distress, and other psychological problems caused by prejudice, discrimination, and bias that are demonstrated towards them in the community. In the society, the attitude to patients with weight problems is often inadequate.
At the household level it is often considered that obesity is the punishment for gluttony and laziness, therefore the treatment of obesity is a private matter. Indeed, public opinion is far from the idea that extremely fat or thin people are sick and that the cause of their disease is more often than not in the unrestrained passion for food, but in complex metabolic disorders, leading to excessive accumulation of body fat.
The social significance of this problem is that the person suffering from an eating disorder can hardly get a job. The research carried out by Puhl and Brownell (2005) has proved that “there is a clear and consistent pattern of discrimination against obese persons in major life areas of employment, medical care, and education” (p. 111). For example, obese people suffer from discriminatory restrictions in promotions, everyday inconveniences, restrictions of movement, choice of clothing, and inconveniences in carrying out adequate hygienic measures. Often they suffer from sexual problems. In children, “problem-eating behaviors can go hand in hand with increasing social isolation and withdrawal, and a reluctance to engage in peer activities” (Nicholls & Bryant-Waugh, 2003, p. 417). Therefore, the society has not yet finally recognized the need to create and implement the programs to prevent eating disorders.
There is an assumption that if humanity manages to solve the problem of eating disorders, especially obesity, life expectancy will increase by 4 years. To compare, if the problem of cancer is solved, life expectancy will increase by only 1 year. The urgency of the problem of eating disorders lies in the fact that the number of overweight people is progressively increasing. This increase constitutes 10% from the same number for every 10 years. It is estimated that if this trend continues, by the middle of this century almost entire population of the developed countries will suffer from eating disorders.
Economists have calculated that the person who invents an effective means of weight loss will become a billionaire in less than a minute (Oliver, 2006, p. 52). This reflects, on the one hand, the ineffectiveness of most diets and drugs for weight control; on the other hand, it demonstrates the importance of the issue. The above mentioned facts indicate that eating disorders are a burning problem, despite the fact that almost every month a new tool or method that promises a guaranteed weight control appears. Meanwhile the industry of production of various tablets, slimming belts, and other miraculous ways to lose or gain weight is thriving, the body weight of an average individual is increasing year by year.
Anorexia, as well as obesity, can be called the disease of the modern epoch. This is related to the requirements that are put forward regarding the physical condition of modern people, which is reflected in their psyche. The ongoing dialogue about the ugliness of obesity, critical looks, and teasing injure a sensitive personality and become the basis for formation of overvalued ideas to achieve a standard appearance.
Anorectic explosion among population is directly or indirectly associated with the emancipation of women, including them into productive activities and a broad scope of communication. A modern woman does not have the right to enjoy the natural beauty of her own body. If that happens, it will soon collapse entire corporations – drug companies, fashion houses, plastic surgery clinics, etc., built in the last decades. The media often lobby the interests of pharmaceutical companies and invent new ways of implementation of commodity fetishism regarding cosmetics and clothing.
In order to achieve an unhindered development, the beauty industry was forced to form a coalition which includes fashion houses, fashion designers, fashion magazines, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies. “Extra” weight of the female body is outlawed. Painful thinness was declared an ideal of beauty. Since then, the new ideal of beauty and attractiveness has become an obsession for most women. A sick system has created a new symptom. Such actions encourage girls to give up their own image and personality and feel the sense of inferiority and frustration in order to move towards the so-called “perfection”, torturing themselves with diets, controlling food intake, and experiencing loss of health.
Deterioration of the social environment and dramatically increased number of harmful psychological effects led to increased prevalence of psychiatric and medical eating disorders, whose mechanism is powered by emotional factors. The scope of these diseases includes a variety of abnormalities in the organs and systems due to the influence of certain stressful factors. Such eating disorders as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, psychogenic obesity have become a major social problem in the countries with a high level of economic development. Eating disorders are connected with a manifold increase in the incidence of hypertension, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis, chronic cholecystitis and cholelithiasis, various tumors, and other health problems. Among the existing eating disorders, obesity is the most dangerous, since it reduces life expectancy by an average of 3-5 years with moderate overweight and by 15 years in patients with severe obesity. In general, the prevalence of these diseases in developed countries is so high, that it has become a major social problem, no less important than HIV or AIDS.
Eating Disorders as a Social Problem. Custom Eating Disorders as a Social Problem Essay Writing Service || Eating Disorders as a Social Problem Essay samples, help