It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million menThe causes of anorexia vary, but one common thread is the strive for perfection. The constant images that young women see come from magazines and billboards. We are bombarded with models that are picture perfect. The problem is, even the models you see don't even look like the pictures that we see. They are all airbrushed to look that way.
One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia
Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia
Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.)
An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males
We are hearing stories of school systems sending home notices about the body mass indexes of students. While these particular students may very well have problems with weight that need to be addressed, what about that young girl that hears about these letters who isn't obese, but a little on the chunky side? It puts additional pressure on young kids to be thin, a pressure that already exists.
Anorexia also has long term health risks and the risk of a premature death:
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover
The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.
20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems
It is not that I think that obesity is an issue that should be ignored, but we need to understand what the unintended consequences of this push can lead to. More young woman die of anorexia than of obesity. No where in the discussion have I heard this brought up. Obama is strictly talking about being overweight. Why is no one thinking of the young woman who is starving herself to death? Why are they being ignored? It seems to me that by concentrating only on obesity we are creating the atmosphere for a spike in the number of victims of this deadly illness.