Eating Disorders

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Real-World Observations: Observation #1

Topic: Eating Disorders

Observed Behaviors: As a secondary school teacher and administrator of twenty three years, I have observed numerous people, mainly girls but also boy who struggled with eating disorders namely, anorexia or bulimia. According to the DSM-IV, eating disorders are characterized by a severe disturbance in eating behavior. Anorexia Nervosa is defined as "refusal to maintain a body weight that is normal for the person's age and height." People suffering from anorexia have a distorted perception of body shape and size. Bulimia Nervosa is "characterized by uncontrolled binge eating and efforts to prevent resulting weight gain by using appropriate behaviors such as self-induced vomiting and excessive exercise"(pg.309).

Description: While conducting an internet search on the topic, I came upon an interesting collection of articles about eating disorders that were run in the Los Angeles Times. The dates of articles range from the early 1980s to the present day. Articles varied in content depending on purpose and newspaper category from health, sports, entertainment, local and world news. The one thing that every article had in common was the destructive nature of this disorder. One article dated February 16, 2008 shared that Pollack "Polly" Ann Williams, who was featured in the HBO documentary "Thin"' which was an unflinching look at several women with serious eating disorders, was found dead in her home from an overdose of sleeping pills. Her sister, Bebe said that her 33 year old sister could not fight any longer. A more recent article (November 29, 2010) shared that eating disorders among children and adolescent appears to be on the rise reporting that Pediatrics estimated 0.5% of adolescent girls in the United States have anorexia. An article dated March 8, 2011 shared that researchers have found a correlation between suicide and eating disorders. Other articles shared international approaches to...
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