Eating disorders refer to diseases that entail irregular eating habits and substantial concerns regarding an individual’s body shape or weight. Eating disorders may be characterized by excessive or inadequate food conceptions which eventually distorts a person’s well-being. Some of the most recognized eating disturbances include Binge, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Eating disturbances affect both male and females and can develop during any life stage. However these disorders most portray during teenage age or among the young adults.
Populations Affected By Eating Disorders
Eating disorders affect populations differently and some of these populations are at higher risks of developing them compared to others. One of the populations that are highly affected by eating disorders is teenagers or young adults. The reason behind this is because there are very many physical changes that occur during adolescence. Some of these changes include broad chests for boys, hips enlargement for girls and increased body weight for both. Such changes would affect an adolescents’ self-esteem and trigger dissatisfaction. In an attempt to correct or eradicate these body changes, most teenagers face eating disorders. According to Beidel, et al. (2014), eating disorders are also more common in girls and women than in boys and men. Some girls are more likely to develop eating disorders in their teenage hood compered to boys. Women are more affected by eating disorders as they are more conscious about their body shapes and weight. Additionally, women are more likely to develop a brain activity that relates to a negative perception of their bodies compared to men. Women respond to perceived obesity with negative emotions compared to men, and thus are more affected by eating disorders.
While some people think of eating disturbances as a female problem, men also suffer from these disorders. Boys and men are also afraid of a damaged body image and thus encounter eating disorders, however, they are afraid of expressing themselves as they fear being perceived as less masculine or other stereotypes that relate to these disorders, for instance, being considered homosexuals. Eating disorders also affect populations regardless of their ethnic background, for instance, the whites, who are assumed to be in highly developed countries, also suffer from these disorders. Research studies confirm that doctors hardy diagnose people of color with eating disorders and thus these disorders affect the whites more compared to the blacks (Beidel et al., 2014).The white woman’s body is highly emphasized when examining beauty standards and this further explains why the whites experience eating disorders. Racial disparities ,on the other hand, makes doctors to place less significance to the people of color and thus do not pay attention to their eating disorders, compared to whites. The implication therefore is that people of color are not highly affected by eating disorders, which is not always the case. Older adults are also likely to experience eating disorders, for example, women above fifty years of age.
Eating disorders affect any individual regardless of their age, gender, social economic status or ethnic background. Some of the causes of eating disorders include stress, family history or mental illnesses. Some of the specific populations affected by eating disorders include teenagers, girls and women, boys and men, the elderly and the whites. Eating disorders should be adequately addressed as they could eventually result in medical issues that could trigger severe implications, for instance, death or poor health.
Beidel, D. C., Bulik, C. M., & Stanley, M. A. (2014). Abnormal psychology. Upper Saddle River,