Are you aware that today the media community puts a large amount of pressure on young women and girls to meet a certain standard of beauty, which can inevitably lead to poor body image and eating disorders? Eating disorders, most commonly found in women, are not talked about enough in the world today as a major problem. The local governments put their funds into making sure we have organizations that address and raise awareness of these deadly mental illnesses but none of them are ever acknowledged the way they need for people to get help. Treatments and organizations should go further than just articles. Local governments need to open up rehabilitation centers for women with eating disorders in every community so future generations of young women don’t have to feel alone.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, are serious mental health conditions that can happen to anyone but are much more common in women, 3 times as much as men in fact. People with eating disorders eat too little or too much. Extreme eating or dieting is not a normal or healthy part of being a woman. Some eating disorders also involve people making themselves throw up or taking laxatives to get rid of the food, or extreme exercise to burn off the calories. All eating disorders are dangerous if left untreated. Treatments to help women tackle these mental illnesses should be more common around the world to not only help women overcome them but to save their lives as well.
As stated in the article “Eating Disorders: Why are girls more affected? (it’s more than just a cultural phenomenon)”by Clinical Expert Douglas W. Bunnell, he makes clear that Women and Girls are more affected than Boys and Men. In the article, it stated that “Objectification of women and premature or early sexualization of women is a risk factor for psychiatric illness in girls and women.” This further reiterates the fact that society contributes to eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), “around 30 million in the United States have some form of eating disorder, and around 20 million of these are women.” Popular notion has long held that women are more concerned with body image than men, and previous studies have shown that women are more likely than men to have body dissatisfaction.
There are many other factors that contribute to women being more vulnerable to Eating Disorders than men. For example, in the article titled “Why are Women more vulnerable to Eating Disorders? Brain Study Sheds Light” on the site Medical News Today it states “ When it comes to negative perceptions of physical appearance, social pressures are believed to play a key role. Since women tend to be more susceptible to such pressures, this may explain in part why eating disorders affect women more than men.” This further proves my point about women needing more attention with their mental health especially in this area of ED.
What we can do to help this problem is simple… Raise Awareness! In your daily life do you notice that you hear eating disorders, especially in young women, being talked about? Beautiful and Bright Madeleine Billings , a 23 year old woman, died at her young age because she couldn’t get over her anorexia. In a news report done by News Today it states “Madeleine had also been to about a dozen inpatient and outpatient programs, received therapy and tried medications — anything to get her out of the grips of anorexia nervosa. nothing worked.” Imagine if you die knowing that you could have lived longer if someone would have helped you with your issue.
Local governments have funded organizations that raise awareness before, but none of them have ever truly gotten acknowledged for their efforts. We as a community need to start acknowledging these women struggling in our lives. Studies by the main non-profit organization the “NEDA” show that “Friends and family are often key to encouraging loved ones with eating and/or body image issues to seek help. Whether they are unaware that there is a problem, they are afraid or ashamed to seek help, or they are ambivalent about giving up their concerning behaviors, many sufferers find it difficult to seek help. Family and friends can play an important role in identifying worrying symptoms to the sufferer and encouraging them to seek help.” If you have a family member or friend that struggles with an eating disorder, I hope this essay encourages you to encourage them to get help with their issue and raise more awareness to help others.