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A blog of my thoughts, travels, and experiences.

Persuasive Essay on Eating Disorders

“Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder include extreme emotions,
attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially
life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Binge Eating
Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent
binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating. Bulimia
Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and
compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects
of binge eating. A person does not have to be diagnosed with Anorexia, Bulimia or BED to have an eating
disorder. An eating disorder can include a combination of signs and symptoms but not meet the full
criteria,” – NEDA.

Dear the People,

The self image in most teens is worse than ever before; not only because we constantly put each other
down mentally, but who we idolize makes a huge difference, too. Tall, thin, caramel colored models walk
down the catwalk and look fierce, our most famous actresses are a size three and look stunning, on the
cover of magazines we see how it is big of a deal if a celebrity has gained weight. All around us we see
how being thin is perfection and how the number on the scale matters.

These reasons: the idolization, the numbers, the strive to be perfect, are all factors in eating disorders
today. “It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one
million men,“ says the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.

Studies say that “nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder.” But
even though half of us know people with eating disorders, how do we end it? Simple answer: We get the
victims help and stop putting others down. Having an eating disorder isn’t shameful, but it is avoidable. If
everybody watches what they say about people and if we see signs of depression or anxiety, talk to the
person with these signs; and if they tell you how sad, depressed, suicidal, fat, or ugly they say they are,
get them help immediately.
But we’re not the only place facing this disease. It is said that, ”eating disorders are one of the most
common psychological problems facing young women in Japan.” Also, the disorder is not only common
in whites:

Rates of minorities with eating disorders are similar to those of white women

74% of American Indian girls reported dieting and purging with diet pills

Essence magazine, in 1994, reported that 53.5% of their respondents, African-American females were at
risk of an eating disorder

“Anorexia is the 3rd most chronic illness among adolescents,” says the South Carolina of Mental Health.
“95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25,” and “50% of girls between
the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight.” The way I see it is that once you start 5th grade,
girls start to develop and their hips start to widen, making them larger. Adults view this as maturing
physically, while children view this as “getting fat.” People calling other people “fat,” “ugly,” and
“undesirable,” are what fuel this passion to get “skinny.” So watch what you say, because if can really
affect people.

This disorder is deadly. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. A study by
the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of
anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20
years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover. “The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12
times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old,” and “20% of
people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder,
including suicide and heart problems.”

However, the treatments for eating disorders are expansive:

Only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment

About 80% of the girls/women who have accessed care for their eating disorders do not get the intensity
of treatment they need to stay in recovery – they are often sent home weeks earlier than the
recommended stay

Treatment of an eating disorder in the US ranges from $500 per day to $2,000 per day. The average cost
for a month of inpatient treatment is $30,000. It is estimated that individuals with eating disorders need
anywhere from 3 – 6 months of inpatient care. Health insurance companies for several reasons do not
typically cover the cost of treating eating disorders

The cost of outpatient treatment, including therapy and medical monitoring, can extend to $100,000 or
more

If we dropped costs for treatment, probably 4 in 10 people with eating disorders will receive treatment
instead of 1 in 10 and will be able to stay longer if dropped the costs even $10,000