Teens and Eating Disorders, Why are they a problem? 

Teens and Eating Disorders, Why are they a problem? 

Dozens of teens all over the world are struggling with eating disorders. Teenagers that are struggling with a disorder are putting themselves at risk. Believe it or not, each person knows at least one person with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are quite destructive to our bodies as our bodies need sustenance to get us through our days without them we can suffer greatly. Most people don’t think they are very common but studies show that half the world is made of people struggling with an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. 

Next, teenagers with an eating disorder tend to feel depressed or alone and have an intense fear of gaining weight. Binge eating is one of the most common psychological disorders worldwide. Teenagers of all kinds struggle with binge eating, ones who are overweight, underweight, and at a healthy weight struggle with this. Binge eating is not the same as overeating, it is worse because people may feel like they are driven to eat in a way that they haven’t had before. Often, after a binge, people feel guilt and shame.  This is all important information to know because you may know someone with this disorder or you yourself may have this Disorder and need to seek help. 

Eating Disorders can affect both genders in some way but studies have shown that women have been affected most. In the US, studies have shown that 30 million people have struggled with some sort of an eating disorder whether that is anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. Out of those 30 million people, 20 million of them are women. Women are more worried about their body image compared to men. Eating disorders are most common in teenagers and young adult women this is mainly caused by puberty and the low self-esteem that comes with it. Many young adults don’t feel confident with their bodies and society plays a huge role in this. 

If you feel like you have an eating disorder it’s important to seek help right away. The quicker you seek help the faster the emotional and physical pains go away. Teenage girls struggle with eating disorders the most but that doesn’t mean younger girls don’t struggle with them as well. The Health US news article has shown that 42% of first- third-grade girls want to be thinner. Individuals that were introduced to pro-eating disorder websites have higher risks of having some type of eating disorder. Social media plays a big part in this, everyone wants to look like an Instagram model and some will do whatever it takes to look like them. 

Eating disorders can also be caused by addiction. Nowadays, teens that are Bulimic tend to get addicted. Teens can get addicted to this because their main goal is to binge eat and then purge all of the unhealthy weight at once to get rid of the unneeded calories that they just binge ate.  This is not any better than an addiction, it is still very dangerous. Teens struggling with an addiction may also try to starve themselves as another way to cope. Starving yourself is another type of an eating disorder which is known as anorexia. 

Like most disorders, eating disorders can also run in the family. Though these disorders are not genetic, younger children often mimic what adults do, good or bad. This could leave a child thinking that eating this way is normal and in that case both need help right away. People who struggle with eating disorders most likely will think what they are doing is healthy for their bodies. This is because, from their point of view, they think they look better. They may try to ignore and refuse what the best options are for them. In some cases, the best option is attending family therapy to handle their eating disorders together. 

It’s important to deal with a person who is struggling with an eating disorder with care. They may not want to seek help or attention at first because they won’t see a problem with it. Teens don’t see a problem with having an eating disorder because their mindset is that they will feel confident about themselves if they eat a certain way.  Emotional and physical change can be hard for everyone sometimes but individuals struggling with both an eating disorder and an emotional disorder will need more attention than others. 

Obesity is the most common cause of why teens begin having eating disorders. Though there are many other reasons in the world to why they may start, obesity is one of the main ones. Teenagers tend to look up to adults as role models.  If a teen has a family member that is obese they may struggle with eating normally every day because they struggle with having a fear of being obese. Obesity can be caused by binge eating which is a type of eating disorder. Binge eating can be used as a coping mechanism by eating a tremendous amount of food at once  Binge eating is mostly caused if someone is feeling ashamed or hopeless of their body. Bulimina is the last major eating disorder and it is caused by purging when eating and getting rid of the food in some sort of way. 

Bullying can be another reason why teenagers or even grade school children struggle with an eating disorder. Bullying plays a big part in this, students all around and of all different ages are getting bullied. It could be online, through social media, or even face-to-face at school or outside of school. After so long of getting bullied it can cause kids to harm themselves. Most kids that are bullied about their weight begin to struggle with eating disorders. When people are told that they are overweight and are bullied because of their weight, it can cause them to have body image issues. They may even see themselves as obese and will take every drastic measure to lose weight. Young kids may not understand what an eating disorder is because they just want to lose weight to stop the bullying. Sometimes it’s better to leave the workplace or school where bullying occurs.

All teenagers and adults respond to stress differently. Most people deal with stress by either eating too much or not eating at all. While limiting the amount of stress can help with this problem, everyone goes through it and sometimes the stress cannot be passed. It is okay to be stressed as long as you are handling the stress in a kind manner toward your body.  Most individuals learn how to deal with stress differently once their eating habits are handled correctly. 

Furthermore, eating disorders are important because they can lead to bigger problems if not helped. For example, eating disorders can lead to suicide; it can also lead to a lot of internal problems with digestion and could cause an exponential amount of hospital visits. Anorexia, Binge eating, and Bulimia are all major eating disorders and can lead to life if it’s not helped right away. Rather than worrying about what other people think, please focus on yourself and make yourself a priority rather than others and their opinions.