When we think of bulimia or anorexia we usually picture a young female, wanting to look like a model. The fashion industry has long been blamed for causing bulimia.
When we think of bulimia or anorexia we usually picture a young female, wanting to look like a model. The fashion industry has long been blamed for causing bulimia and anorexia among teenagers with its use of very thin models. Actually eating disorders returned to the spotlight recently when two models suffering from anorexia died in Brazil and Uruguay.
Eight percent of the population suffers from an eating disorder. Obsessions with food and body weight can sometimes have devastating results.
The truth is that these diseases can also strike women between the ages of fifty and sixty some who even die.
Eating disorders directly or indirectly affect 10% of the population. A victim of eating disorders share an unhealthy obsession that finally takes control of their lives. Food takes a harmful forbidden aspect that sets off self-disgust and guilt that leads them to all kinds of excesses
All individuals with eating disorders usually share a psychotherapy profile where they have had some kind of traumatic event that has lead them to low self-esteem.
Researchers believe that a biochemical imbalance in the brain may explain bulimic behavior. In their research, they are trying to create a link between the levels of serotonin in the brain that trigger the sensation of hunger and pleasure.
Treatments can usually consists of re-education and introducing foods to restore both the nutritional and the pleasure in eating, restoring weight with psychotherapy and medication that increases serotonin which can last from a few months to several years.
There is help out there, however a recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatric showed studies by ” Stanford University School of Medicine” and “The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.” – “Found that eating disorder sufferers were also learning new high risk ways to lose weight from each other on the Web sites aimed at helping them recover.
Stanford showed a third of the patients who visited pro-recovery sites at least half of them learned new weight loss and purging methods. Studies also showed that patients between 10 and 22 learned these new methods by sharing tips. Such as what drugs induce vomiting and what internet sites sell them.
Parents please make yourself aware of the Web sites promoting eating disorders and discuss these sites with your child. I know it is hard, I was not even aware that my female relative had a problem until she told me years later. She was lucky, she somehow realized herself that it was wrong and got help however it has left her with a heart condition which is permanent.
Help for Parents with Children/ Under 18
Visit the following links for help with child with an eating disorder
Statistics on Eating Disorders
Average age of young people:
17 years is the average age of people with anorexia nervosa appears to be getting younger with cases being diagnosed in girls as young as 11 years of age
To compare with major depression: Overall mortality rate is 1.4 times that expected unnatural deaths 7 times and suicide 20 times greater than expected.
Average Duration of Disorder:
At risk groups
First degree relative (i.e. sister or daughter or mother) are 10 times more likely to develop anorexia than other relative
Long term effects
- Brain atrophy
- Effect on cognition
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Growth retardation
- Osteopaenia leading to osteoporosis
- Renal and hepatic function impaired
- Neurogenic bowel with subsequent rectal prolapse.
- 64% of normal weight women and 23% of normal weight men with no history of weight problems are dieting.
- 2% women between 15 and 40
- Incidence 15 new cases per 100,000 pa.
To read more on these statistics please, visit:
National Eating Disorders Information Center (NEDIC) 416-340-4156
Copyright: Sylvia McGrath December 6th, 2006 updated February 10th 2013.
- Eating Disorders (wellforliving.wordpress.com)
- Eating disorders on the rise in Canada, as sufferers wait for treatment (ctvnews.ca)
- My Child is Searching About Anorexia, What Do I Do? (webroot.com)
- Almost 1 million Australians suffer eating disorders (abc.net.au)
- What health professionals should know about eating disorders (guardian.co.uk)
- Facing an Eating Disorder as an Adult (everydayhealth.com)
- Shame in Silence: Eating disorder awareness week (cbc.ca)