day, we are bombarded with messages that tell us our
bodies are not good enough. Magazines, television, movies,
and advertisements are constantly selling us unreal,
air-brushed images of girls and women we are supposed to
emulate. Let’s throw out those make-believe messages and
talk about reality.
of you go through periods where you feel too fat, or
sometimes, too thin. Eating
well and exercising
– not dieting – are the best ways to maintain a healthy
weight. But sometimes, people can become obsessed with
body fat or losing weight. This can be a sign of stress or
depression, and can develop into an eating disorder. Here
are some definitions of eating disorders to help you
determine whether you or someone you know needs help:
can be a fatal disease that usually begins with a girl
trying to lose weight through a restrictive diet.
Ultimately, she ends up eating very little, even
though she is thin, and has an intense fear of body
fat or weight gain. Girls with anorexia suffer many
serious side effects: their hair starts to fall out,
their periods slow or stop all together, they may
start to grow unsightly body hair, and in extreme
cases, they die.
affects more girls than anorexia. People with bulimia
will get rid of food they have just eaten by vomiting
or taking laxatives or diuretics, and have a fear of
body fat, even though their size or weight may be
normal for them. Many bulimics will binge – eat a
large amount of food in a short period of time,
usually alone – before vomiting or taking laxatives.
Side effects include bleeding in the mouth, gum
disease, tooth decay, dehydration, imbalance of body
chemicals, malnutrition, and kidney problems.
eating means eating large amounts of food in a short
period of time, usually alone, without being able to
stop. People with the binge eating disorder don’t
try to get rid of the food they have eaten, but may
feel disgusted with themselves or feel depressed or
very guilty after overeating.
disorders are serious diseases that must be treated. If
you think that you or someone you know has an eating
disorder, get help.