To Eat or Not to Eat: a Comparison of Anorexia and Obesity

Topics: Obesity, Body shape, Anorexia nervosa Pages: 4 (1241 words) Published: April 17, 2008
In many other countries, to be skinny enough to show off one’s bones would mean that they are living in poverty; while an excessive amount of weight would show that the individual lives in a higher class in society. In America however, these two body types have been elevated into two of the leading causes of death amongst our population; not as a sign of societal class, but as diseases.

Anorexia - which stems from “Anorexia Nervosa” - is an illness in which a person has an intense fear of gaining weight, and is often corresponded with a distorted perception of their own weight and body shape. According to many psychologists anorexia is believed to have the highest mortality rate then any other psychiatric disorder (about ten percent of the people who are diagnosed with anorexia die from anorexic-related causes). There is also a higher rate of suicide amongst the anorexic-diagnosed population then the general population; with suicide being the primary cause of death for anorexics.

Obesity is a condition in which the person’s natural energy reserve is drastically increased to the point that it creates a risk factor (when the body mass index is over 25% body fat in men and over 35% body fat in women) and leaves the body pervious to other health conditions. Complications comprise of cardiovascular problems such as congestive heart failure and pulmonary embolism, as well as respiratory problems like asthma and hypoventilation. Other complications include an increasing vulnerability to stroke, urinary incontinence and fatty liver disease.

Physical anorexic traits include the visibility of the bone structure of the individual, with very little fats and muscles (in many cases even no visible muscle or fat at all). Because of the severely low amount of muscle, lifting many objects becomes nearly impossible for anorexic people.

Physical obese traits include stretch marks on the shoulders, the abdomen, around the pectorals, and along the thighs and knees. Also,...
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