Health Awarness for February 2013 – Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders


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

Mortality Rate:

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:

5 years

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
  • Infertility
  • 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.

Bulimia Nervosa

  • 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 – United States


Copyright:  Sylvia McGrath December 6th, 2006 updated February 10th 2013.


About writingmama

Sylvia McGrath ~ AKA Writingmama, a freelance writer from King City, Ontario has worked in the business field for about forty years obtaining business management experience and business writing skills. She also spent several years in social work for Children’s Services. Now retired is living her childhood dream of being a writer. A few years ago Sylvia decided to take a course in freelance writing, which she really enjoyed as it was the key to follow her dreams. Since completing the course, she has worked as a professional writer, a published poet and co-authored a book with Two Maximum Life Coaches about living with chronic illness; this is titled After The Diagnosis: The Journey Beyond.” She also co-authored an E-Book of Resources for the parents of children with special needs, chronic illness and learning challenges titled “The Treasure Chest of Resources,” part-one has already been sent to the Canadian National Library Archives. Sylvia has also written several articles on chronic illness for the following online sites. • • • Besides working as a freelance writer, Sylvia still finds time for two other passions of hers; to volunteer as a literacy tutor for her local Learning Centre, and assist in facilitating of workshops on disability awareness. Her main mission for the future is to write a series of books for young adults and children who have learning challenges and suffer chronic illness. At present she is also the co-owner and columnist for “Professor Owl’s Newsletter” which is published on-line monthly for children.
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