Eating disorder is a condition that can be defined by unusual habits that are related to eating. This abnormal eating habit may be taking food in excess or taking food in very little proportions that can easily affect the health of an individual mentally or physically. The main gender affected by eating disorder is the female gender at about eighty five percent of the total population affected by this disorder. Westernization can be considered to be one of the key contributors towards the increasing disorder and in some cases, medical conditions and going by the trend of thinness in relation to youthfulness (Treasuer&Van, 2003). The most known eating disorder includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Eating disorder is treatable and this should be done immediately as this disorder can easily cause death if the affected individual is not careful. It is therefore, important to know the most common forms of eating disorders, signs and symptoms and their prevention and treatment methods (Abraham, 2008).
Types of eating disorder
One of the most common forms of eating disorder is anorexia nervosa. It is mainly driven by the fear of an individual to gain weight. Some suffer from it unknowingly while a bigger percentage of about sixty percent of the affected population suffer consciously. “For women, this disorder can stop menstruation which can enhance bone loss and increased heart attacks,” (Heller, 2003).
Another common eating disorder is bulimia nervosa. This condition can be caused as a result of frequent eating which can enhance vomiting which is self-induced or exaggerated exercise. In the event of over consumption of food, an individual can easily follow the routine of over exercising or fasting which is not healthy (Heller, 2003).
Binge eating as a disorder is basically over consumption of food but not characterized by behaviors that are compensatory in nature. This disorder affects any potential individual who is linked to over-eating, thus it is not related to class, age or even gender (Heller, 2003).
Causes of eating disorder
The causes of eating disorder can be classified to be biological, environmental or psychological. Biological disorder is related to genetic composition, biochemical composition like over concentration or minimal concentration of HPA axis can easily lead to eating disorders. Psychological eating disorder can be enhanced by the mentality of an individual on a particular food or products to be the best or not being the best. “This can lead to over consumption of particular food which leads to eating disorder,” (Bjorklund, 2005).
The environmental factors can be largely considered to be peer influence of the culture of thinning to be more fashionable than being normal size. The parents of an individual may also be the main cause towards the development of an eating disorder. This can be attributed to the fact that, the diet that a parent gives the children in plenty can greatly impact on the eating trend of the child. If the child is used to taking sugary foods, then, there is a possibility of developing eating disorder. Another environmental factor is influenced by the culture, for example, the western culture encourages slim body type (Middletown, 2006).
Eating disorders can cause lethal injuries to the health the affected individual. It is thus, of great importance that, for its prevention, its identification is carried out before it has gone overboard. Prevention entails, ensuring that all the individuals know the importance of taking a particular diet in the required proportions. For the purpose of treating an individual who is suffering from eating disorder, the affected party should visit a psychiatrist for the purposes of primary treatment. It is therefore, vital that the most common forms of eating disorders are well understood by all the individuals for early prevention and treatment measures (Laser&Watson, 2012).
Abraham, S. (2008). Eating disorders: The facts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Heller, T. (2003). Eating disorders: A handbook for teens, families, and teachers. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co.
Bjorklund, R. (2005). Eating disorders. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
Middleton, K. (2007). Eating disorders: The path to recovery. Oxford: Lion.
Laser, T., & Watson, S. (2012). Eating disorders. New York: Rosen Pub.
Treasure, J., Schmidt, U., & Van, F. E. (2003). Handbook of Eating Disorders, 2nd Edition. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.