Eating Disorders’ and its effects on young people

Eating+Disorders%E2%80%99+and+its+effects+on+young+people

Gabriel Hernandez

Eating disorders are affecting a large amount of young people today. For some it’s a short lived experience and for others it’s a lifelong struggle. 

According to statistics found by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD),  9% of the worldwide population will be affected by a eating disorder in their lifetime, that’s roughly 702 million people. In the United States, 28.8 million Americans will have an eating disorder. Now, why does this happen and what can be done to help? 

Some of the main causes that lead to an eating disorder are the focus on weight and body image, along with seeking some kind of control, according to helpguide.org which, in turn, leads to unhealthy eating habits. 

Many people, even those without an eating disorder, struggle with body image and how they perceive themselves. What may be causing this? At times, it’s how the media portrays what bodies “should” look like. Constantly seeing these seemingly “perfect” bodies can make some doubt their own self worth. 

Another cause is the sense of control that comes from restricting food and/or purging. Both of these things, sometimes in conjunction with each other, can lead to an unhealthy and dangerous diet. 

Finding Help

If a loved one has an eating disorder, it’s important to not shun them away or treat their situation lightly as some cute edgy phase. This is a situation that could be life threatening. 

One way to help is just being there and letting them know you care and are concerned also, let them know this when they’re in a stable emotional state

Be patient with them even if they deny the issue or shut down your concern with an “I’m fine”. 

Stay away from saying: “You just need to eat”, “Just be happy with yourself”. Be patient and supportive. Being there for this person can save their life. 

Remember if you need someone to talk to, Cypress Lakes has counselors you can reach out to. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/helping-someone-with-an-eating-disorder.htm 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eating-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20353603 

https://anad.org/get-informed/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/