April 28, 2014
An eating disorder is any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. Eating disorders are a huge problem throughout the world, especially in the United States. “In the United States 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life” (“Get The Facts On Eating Disorders”). There are numerous eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other specified feeding or eating disorders. The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are a huge concern throughout the world and it is important that we know about them so they can be prevented.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, “Eating disorders include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues” (“General Information”). Eating disorders can have life-threatening consequences. There are numerous eating disorders in the world. The three main eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and the binge eating disorder. There are other disorders called other specified feeding or eating disorders which include atypical anorexia nervosa, purging disorder, night eating syndrome, and less extreme disorders of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Additional eating disorders include avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, rumination disorder, and other unspecified feeding or eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa was among the first to be classified as a psychological eating disorder. According to the article “A Fear of Food: A History of Eating Disorders”, anorexia nervosa deals with the inability or refusal to maintain a normal body weight and the fear of gaining weight while hating one’s own body image. (“A Fear of Food: A History of Eating Disorders”).In the article “Eating Disorders: Progress and Problems,” Walsh states that “Anorexia nervosa is among the most disabling and lethal of psychiatric disorders” (Walsh 1387). This disorder has occurred throughout history in many different time periods and cultures. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries anorexia was considered a holy act. According to the article “A Fear of Food: A History of Eating Disorders,” “Women who starved themselves were highly esteemed, and the origins of their ‘holy anorexia’ were thought to be supernatural. One well known example of a fasting woman was Catherine of Siena who was regarded as a saint. For Catherine, complete control over her body was a sign of devotion. In her eyes, to yield to food was to yield to sin and, ultimately, to deceive God” (“A Fear of Food: A History of Eating Disorders”). Ultimately, being anorexic was considered a good thing because you were doing it for God. However, holy anorexia did not last long and was eventually looked down upon by the Catholic Church as being a witch. Anorexia nervosa eventually turned into a psychological eating disorder. It was often known as “the rich white girl disorder” because people only thought that rich white women had it. Moreover the article also states that “As the Seventies continued and cases of anorexia nervosa increased, the social distribution became less skewed. It was no longer just a “rich white girl’s” disorder.Anorexia nervosa continued to rapidly increase into the next decade and became known as the ‘disorder of the 80s,’ suggesting that diseases, particularly psychiatric disorders, are often directly linked to cultural contexts” (“A Fear of Food: A History of Eating Disorders”). Anorexia was no longer recognized as a disorder of rich white girls it was recognized within different races and males as well.
Bulimia is another common disorder. According to the article “A Fear of Food: A History of Eating Disorders”, “It is a disorder characterized by the rapid...
Bibliography: "A Fear of Food: A History of Eating Disorders." Random History. 13 Dec. 2008. Web. 24 Apr.
“Eating Disorder Prevention” National Eating Disorder Association.Web. 30 Apr. 2014. Found
Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Found at:
"General Information" National Eating Disorder Association.Web
“Get The Facts On Eating Disorders” National Eating Disorder Association. Web. 2 May. 2014.
“Health Consequences of Eating Disorders” National Eating Disorder Association.Web. 28 Apr.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document