Cause and Effect
What causes somebody to have an obsession with becoming so thin that it could seriously harm their body? Eating disorders are becoming an increasing problem. Women as well as men are falling into the trap of believing the idea that we all need to look like the people on television. It is estimated that eight million Americans can be associated with an eating disorder, seven million of that population is female and the other one million is male (Broccolo-Philbin, 23). But why are we doing this to ourselves? Is it just because of the television or is it more than that? Causes of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are being researched, analyzed, and published to help stop the increase of these obsessions. Before determining the causes of an eating disorder we must know what an eating disorder is. “An eating disorder is a group of eating habits and attitudes about weight and body image that are serious emotional problems and can cause life-threatening physical problems” (Berg, 22). Some common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and compulsive overeating, but what causes a person to obtain those habits of starving themselves or comparing their bodies to the thin models? Causes are being determined by professionals and ways to treat the disorders are being studied. “I want to look just like her/him!” is something most teenagers and young adults hear themselves saying as they watch television or look through a magazine. The media has a huge impact on the young population as the years continue and the influence of technology rises. Teens strive to look just like an actor or actress, singer, sports player, and the list goes on and on. The reality is that most stars aren’t born that way. They have to work hard at looking the way the media wants them to with special low-calorie diets, personal trainers, and people to make them look perfect. Some stars have even taken drastic measures, and underwent “corrective surgeries” to make themselves into the beauty idols they appear to be. Teens are taking the unhealthy approach to make themselves look just like the celebrities. These tactics can causes serious health problems and sometimes even death. Nicole Richie and Mary Kate Olsen are two celebrities who have suffered severely from eating disorders (Tauber, Michelle, and Ashley Williams). Kailey Koepplin, 17, says, “Nicole’s body is gross because her skeleton shows” (Tauber, Michelle, and Ashley Williams). Teens need to know the consequences of having an eating disorder and that it’s okay to have a normal weight. Society is pushing perfection in just about everything. When a person cannot meet the ideal standards of perfection this can lead to intrapersonal issues. The person might feel bad about how they look, which can lead to a harmful behavior. Many people are focusing on their appearance more than anything else. The majority of girls are getting the message to be tall and thin so they can be happy. A girl thinks that if she is thin, then her whole life will fall into place just like Hollywood shows it in movies. On television twelve percent of men are underweight, but in reality only two percent are underweight (Fitzgerald, 8). On television thirty one percent of women are underweight with only five percent of women in reality being underweight (Fitzgerald, 9). Vickie Rutledge Shields, a professor of telecommunications at Bowling Green State University in Ohio says, “TV is the biggest storyteller in our culture” (qtd. in Fitzgerald, 8). Causes of eating disorders come from other sources than just society and media. Approval from family can have a major impact on eating disorders. Adolescents need to learn to appreciate their body for what it is. They are getting to caught up on the dieting cycle of family and friends who seem to have a fixation with it as well (Broccolo-Philbin, 24). Parents need to make sure their child is getting healthy meals...
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