Prevalence of Eating Disorders

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The Prevalence of Eating Disorders among Young Girls in Today’s Society. Due to the prevalence of mass-media advertising in the United States, eating disorders among young girls are more pervasive in the U.S. than other well-developed countries. According to the estimates of The National Institute of Mental Health in the US, “between 5 – 10% (i.e. 5-10 million people) of girls and women suffer from eating disorders (Hastings et. al., 2002).” Eating disorders, specifically binge eating disorder, is also becoming a serious problem in the United Kingdom. A survey conducted in 2001 found that 8.5 % obesity levels are found in children ages 6 years old and 15% among children aged 15 years old. Moreover, 165,000 people, in which 90% are women, are affected by anorexia and bulimia and it is estimated that one out of ten of these people will die as a result of their ED (Hastings et. al., 2002). Eating disorders are also beginning to rise and are becoming a growing health challenge in developed countries in Asia. According to British Medical Journal, one of the reasons why the cases of eating disorders are increasing in Asia is because of the ultra-thin model image shown in television advertisements by Western media (Edell, 2000). Eating disorders have been found mostly in high-income and well-developed East Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. Despite the fact that young Asian females are already “slim by western standards”, it is the ‘thin-is-beautiful’ ideal that came form the West that is one of the major reasons why cases of ED in Asia is increasing (Lee, 1998). Problematic eating behaviors towards fear of fatness have also been found in the urban areas of low-income countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines (Lee, 1998). No one can tell whether eating disorders among young girls in the Philippines is increasing because there are no statistics and reports about eating disorders among young girls...
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