August 2, 2012
Body Fat and Eating Disorders
Individuals with excess body fat or obesity put themselves at risk of developing a number of serious diseases, which range from digestive problems to heart attacks. According to Heyward and Wagner (2004), obesity is not only about an increase in body fat, but also contributes to changes in body composition, namely water, mineral, and protein content. The researchers added that it is not only the body fat that triggers health problems but also the regional distribution of fat that causes chronic disease. For example, individuals with abdominal obesity or upper-body obesity have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases compared to individuals whose excess fat is deposited in lower body.
The factors that influence the obesity epidemic are mostly of social and economic nature. From economic perspective, people with average or below-average income are not always able to afford buying healthy food. Moreover, the popularity and affordability of fast food contributes to obesity epidemic as well. Since early childhood years, children consume unhealthy food that tastes good and yet adds fat to body. In addition, the level of physical activity is steadily decrease as active games outdoors are replaced with passive spending of spare time, such as playing video games or surfing the internet.
In addition to obesity, thousands of people are affected with diverse easting disorders, which endanger the health of individuals. For example, anorexia nervosa may cause hypotension, irregular heart rate, bloating, constipation, fatigue, cold intolerance, osteoporosis, stress fracture, and muscle wasting (Summerfield, 2011). Bulimia nervosa may contribute to such diseases as cardiac myopathy, erosion of tooth enamel, dental caries, g-1 bleeding, and menstrual irregularity (Summerfield, 2001). Finally, binge-eating disorder may cause the development of...