Bulimia Essay, Research Paper
Americans place a great deal of importance on being thin. All of the models, television personalities, and athletes are extremely thin. Trendy clothing styles are all made to flatter the thin figure. These constant reminders say to the American youth that in order to be successful, you must be thin. As a result, 1 in 10 teenage girls struggle with an eating disorder. Bulimia, one type of eating disorder, which is harmful to your physical and mental health, is becoming very popular with today’s young women.
Bulimia, which means “ox hunger” is a binge-purge cycle of eating. The person feels an overwhelming need to eat enormous amounts of food in a very short period of time. After eating the person feels guilty and needs to rid herself of the food that was just consumed before it has a chance to digest. The typical pattern of a bulimic person is start off by eating foods like apple peels or corn. These foods are not easily digested. They are followed by mass quantities of junk food. Common binging foods are fast foods such as Mc Donalds , Taco Bell, Or Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is because these foods are quick and easy, and can be obtained through a drive through window. After eating the person vomits or uses laxatives to get rid of the food. When they see the apple peel or corn leave their bodies they know that food that they have eaten has been totally eliminated because is easily recognized and hardest to digest. A binge can vary between 1,000 to 11,000 calories. The food is consumed at a rate of approximately 166 calories per minute. The food is not chewed well. They take a quick bite and swallow it as fast as possible. This act gives the individual a feeling of euphoria or a “ high”. Obtaining this amount of food can be very time consuming as well as expensive. Frequently binges are planned. The person may hide food in their rooms or drawers prior to the binge. Stealing money, selling jewelry or property are common ways for a bulimic person to pay for the food.
Research shows bulimia affects females more often than males and it starts around the age of 18. It is a rough time for the bulimic person, because many of them have finished high school, started new jobs , or moved on to college. Bulimia is starting at younger ages every year. A survey in the late 1980’s found that approximately thirty percent of 10th grade females were either vomiting or using laxatives. Research has also shown that people suffering with bulimia often abuse alcohol and commit petty crimes. Many of them do not have well developed social skills. Bulimia can be triggered by life changes, family problems, relationship problems, or negative remarks made about their weight. It usually develops after a long period of unsuccessful dieting. They believe that by being thin, people will like them better, and be more successful in life.
Signs that a person is bulimic may be more evident with some than others. Some might suffer from depression, a psychological illness where the individual loses interest in things they used to love doing, feeling of hopelessness, constant fatigue, bruises on the knuckles, and hair loss. Bulimics are at high risk of dying young. They have multiple health problems as a result of the binging and purging. They can have difficulty swallowing and retaining food, swollen glands, damage to the esophagus, internal bleeding, tooth decay, loss of tooth enamel, weakness, headaches, dizziness, and possible heart attacks.
Many young women are suffering from this disease, and I believe that is due to the lack of knowledge on the subject. Society is too busy pressing the products, trends and the notion of being thin, that they are letting these young girls slip away. We need to educate the teenagers in high school and even in the middle schools. Maybe if the young women are presented with the consequences both, psychical, and emotional, they will think twice about doing it. They need to understand that they are beautiful in any shape or form and that they deserve to live their lives healthy.