English: Casual Argument
Teen eating disorders can lead to a demoralizing effect on teen age girls and boys. In order to understand the causes of teen’s eating disorders, it is important to understand healthy eating habits. Major changes in eating habits due to eating disorder can be fatal, even to a life threatening extent. It can lead to a number of physical disorders therefore it is very important to understand three basic issues about eating disorder in teens. This paper deals with the types of eating disorders in teens, causes of the eating disorder in teens and remedial measures.
Three main types of eating disorders are:
- Anorexia. It is the condition in which teen fears of becoming fat, and refuses to take adequate food. Patients of Anorexia have a distorted body image and view themselves as heavy despite being very skinny. A patient suffering from anorexia has symptoms of anxiety, depression, being highly self-critical, and, is on dieting even when requires additional calories.
- Bulimia. In this condition, teen exceptionally overeats and then vomits it out or uses laxatives in order to avoid the weight gain. Patients with bulimia fear weight gain and are not happy with their bodies. They eat a lot of food in short duration of time. Symptoms of bulimia are abusing drugs and alcohol, abusing laxatives and other treatments to prevent weight gain.
- Binge eating. In this condition, a patient eats a lot of food but do not purge out or vomit the food. It resembles bulimia and includes eating of large quantity of food in a short time, even at the cost of comfort. Resultantly, patient gains weight and becomes obese. Binge eaters suffer from uncontrolled emotions, anger, worry, stress, sadness and boredom.
The causes of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder is not known. However, numbers of factors that will put a teen in eating disorder are discussed in following paragraphs:
- Pressure from Society. In today’s world, physically most appreciated people are those with slim body. Even with only the minimum weight, teens can develop perception that they are fat. Desire of being slim and be appreciated by everyone, puts teens in the obsession to lose weight. The phenomenon is more often with teen age girls.
- Teens with less self-confidence. Teens with low self-esteem use their slim body and less weight to gain confidence and control. This gives their personality a stability factor and they feel more confident with slim body and less weight.
- Activities of interest. Participation in activities where being slim gives added advantage to someone, leads to eating disorder. Activities like running and boxing that demand for lesser weight adds to the risk of eating disorder.
- Personality traits. Teens with personality traits like perfectionism and rigidity are likely targets of eating disorder. The trait is in the genes of a person and cannot be changed or diminished.
- Combination of biological, behavioral, and social factors may also influence the teens seriously. In a culture that favors underweight bodies over healthy bodies, can have more number of teens suffering from eating disorder.
In order to prevent eating disorders among teens, it is necessary for parents / guardians to talk to their teen about advantages of taking timely meals and its effect on their nourishment. It may be difficult to convince teens about keeping healthy eating habits, but a try is never wasted. Parents must do following:-
- Encourage good eating habits and discourage bad eating schedule. Parents must educate their teens on advantages of taking timely food and effects of not taking the regular food. Child must eat when hungry. Family should sit together for taking meals together.
- Discuss about projection on media. Different media projections and websites highlight that only a skinny body is ideal and that brings the idea of dieting and becoming one, like those in limelight. From that point onward, eating disorder starts and leads to many physical and psychological problems. Parent must encourage their teens to discuss their viewpoint about such programmes and guide them about the healthy life and healthy eating habits.
- Project a strong physique image. Children must be educated on how a healthy body looks like, and that the shape of a healthy body varies with the personality. Parent should talk to their teens about their favorite self-image and should apply corrections as required. Nicknames and jokes related to physical appearance must be discouraged. Similarly, comments based on one’s appearance and body weight, should be avoided.
- Foster self-respect. Give credit to teens of their achievements and give them your full support toward achieving their goals. Listen carefully when they speak and always appreciate the positive aspects of their personality such as kindness and benevolence. Tell them that you love them under all circumstances with no conditions therein.
- Educate on hazards of dieting and its effects on emotional stability. Tell your teens that dieting can adversely affect their health advancement and dangers of binge eating. Highlight that dieting effects emotional stability.
- Use of food as prize or punishment. Must not offer food as a reward of good doings and do not deny food as a result of bad doing.
- Be in-step with your teen's doctor. Doctor can reinforce your view point; therefore you should have good coordination with the doctor of your teen.
- Be a friend to your teens. If your teen is suspected to have an eating disorder, talk to him and encourage him to share his / her problems with you as a friend.
- Conduct regular medical checkup for your teen. Doctor is the right person to judge any eating disorder or otherwise, through different blood tests.
- Early mediation plays its role in any treatment plans and it should be ensured by parents.
Dianne Neumark-Sztainer. I'm, like, SO fat!, helping your teen make healthy choices about eating and exercise in a weight-obsessed world. 2005. Web. 10 April. 2014.
TMW Media Group. Eating disorders in adolescence [videorecording] / producers & distributors of Quality Educational Media. 2007. Web. 10 April. 2014.
Jefferson. kctcs. What causes eating disorders in teens. 2011. Web. 10 April. 2014.
KCTCS. Eating disorder in teens. 2012. Web. 9 April. 2014.