Of all girls and women in the United States, ten percent will be affected by an eating disorder. Men and women alike are affected, however it is more common in women, specifically those aged thirteen to twenty. The most common eating disorder among teenage girls is anorexia nervosa. This disease is mostly linked with an overwhelming desire to be thin. People take extreme measures to achieve this goal (“Causes”).
Anorexia is a very mysterious and misunderstood disease. One of the reasons for this is that scientists have not pinpointed one certain cause for the disease. There are many different causes ranging from genetic to environmental factors. One of the most well-known causes of anorexia in teenagers is the pressure from the media to be thin. Most women on television and in magazines are tall, thin, and beautiful which creates a lot of self-doubt for teenagers who do not fit this mold (Jaffe-Gill).
Another cause of anorexia could be genetics. A person who has a family member who had an eating disorder is eight times more likely to develop one herself. Sometimes certain family dynamics are linked to the development of anorexia as well. These families often put a lot of pressure on their children to behave and look perfect. In doing this, they are opening the door for anorexia to develop. Young girls in these families will try to create their independence by controlling their eating habits and self-image.
There are often major life experiences that can trigger anorexia in teenage girls. These can include: breaking up with a boyfriend, moving to a new school, losing a family member, not doing well in school, and many more. These factors usually lead to anorexia only if the person was already vulnerable to the disease before the situation occurred.
Regardless of the cause of anorexia, the effects are dangerous. These effects are both physical and emotional and will have lasting repercussions on the person for the rest of...