Eating disorder is when a person has a compulsion of eating too much food or rather refusing to eat enough food ( Brumberg, 1988). This is usually to satisfy a psychic need and not a physical need. A victim do not listen to body signals which dictates when to eat or not. This has negative effects on the victims physical and mental health (Patricia, 1994).

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However, eating disorders do not only affect a persons health but also day to day activities. Emotional well being is determined by what has been eaten or not eaten. In addition, eating disorders involve out of control behaviors that influence unhealthy patterns. Men and women who suffer from eating disorders often experience a wrong view concerning their bodies mostly believing they are too fat or too thin.

Eating disorders are usually marked by extremes such as extreme reduction of food intake or extreme over eating. Besides, extreme distress concerning their body shape and weight. Eating Disorders mostly appear during adolescence and during young adulthood. However, Eating disorders reports have it that eating disorders may develop during adulthood.

Women and girls are more prone to developing an eating disorders. Men account for a very small percent estimated between 5 to 15 percent for cases of eating disorders. However, men account for 35 percent of the patients of binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are real, with psychological and biological causes.

Victims of eating disorders are mostly exposed to other disorders such as depression, Substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. In addition, these people are also in danger of contraction other serious ailments such as heart conditions and kidney failure which can lead to death (Foreyt, 1991).

Common types of Eating disorders

The American psychiatric Association has officially defined two eating disorders which are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. The third category includes “Eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS)”. This includes many variations of eating disorders. Most of these disorders are similar to Anorexia  Bulimia but differs slightly. One of these eating disorders is called Binge eating disorderwhich has received much attention by researchers.

Page 2 Addressing Eating Disorders in Teenage School Girls a Guide for School Nurses Essay

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is exhibited by emaciation. This is unrealistic pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain healthy weight. Victims of this disorder have a distorted view of their body image and an extreme fear to gain weight. In addition,girls and women who suffer from this will miss menstruation and experience a disturbed eating behavior.

Some victims lose weight by exercising excessively, others will lose weight by self induced vomiting while others will loose weight by laxatives. Regardless of how much weight they lose these victims will continue believing they are overweight. The worst is that even when they are extremely malnourished they will continue to believe they have more weight to lose.

People suffering form this disorder are obsessed with food, eating, and weight control. A person with Anorexia will weigh herself several times, portion food carefully, and eat very small quantities of certain foods. This disorder is largely reported in media concerning celebrities in the fashion industry (Foreyt, 1991).

Signs and symptoms of Anorexia

According to Berg (1995), in the early development of this disorder, the symptoms are hidden so they are not easy to spot. A person with anorexia will try to justify his eating behaviors when confronted. But as anorexia continues to progress, signs and symptoms became obvious and difficult to deny.

Eating and food behavior signs and symptoms

People who suffer from anorexia will continue following a restricted diet. Even when they are extremely malnourished to them, there is still more weight to lose. They will eat food with low calorie content only. They will ban on themselves foods such as carbohydrates and fats.

Obsession with calories, fat grams and nutrition.

These sufferers will have an obsession to avoid calories at all costs. Before purchasing any food, they will read the labels, measure and weigh portions, keep a food diary to monitor their food intake, and read diet books.

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