This essay has a total of 675 words and 4 pages.


The Causes and Effects of Anorexia

When I think of anorexia, a few things come to mind. I think of really bad episodes of
Beverly Hills 90210 and Baywatch in which females, ususally teenagers, starve themselves
and take diet pills. The eating problem is always resolved within the timespan of one 30
minute episode. From the research I've done thus far on anorexia, I now know that this is
a very unrealistic representation of what is actually a very serious disease.

The purpose of this study is twofold. First, I have done extensive research on the causes
and effects of anorexia. Secondly, I will produce a survey that asks basic questions about
anorexia. I will give these to young adults from the ages of 15 to 35. This will serve as
my means to find out just how much people of that certain age group know about the
potentially deadly disease of anorexia. This research is not only to inform myself about
anorexia, but also to inform myself about the knowledge or lack thereof that young people
have about the disease.

Most people believe that anorexia is mainly a young females' disease. This is not
necessarily true. In fact, studies within the past few years show that male anorexia is
about as widespread as in females. In actuality, 80 percent of the people diagnosed with
anorexia over the age of 45 are males(Heywood, 1996). Other misconceptions are that
anorexia is only common with younger people and that anorexia is not a real disease at
all, just a staple of obsessive teenage girls.

Another widespread misconception about the disease of anorexia is that it is a new
disease. Actually, doctors say that anorexia has its roots centuries ago. Through
different time periods, people have fasted for a number of reasons, they say. People
fasted in Biblical times to pay reverence to God or just to exercise self-discipline.
Anorexia has been around almost as long as man.(Deth and Vandereycken, 1990)

Basically, anorexia is spread as easily as any other disease. The disease in itself is not
contageous, of course; it is spread through society and the media. For example, what is
known as the "Barbie doll syndrome" is the main cause of such a mental disease. People
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