By: Destini Merrill
Food is life! And I'm not just using this term as a witty colloquialism. I actually mean it. Food is sustenance, we have to eat to survive; to supply our bodies with the nutrition, strength, and energy we need to live. But to compliment that important piece of info, food is awesome, it's delicious, it's cultural, it brings people together, it even helps ease stress. Which is why it's rather discouraging to know that so many college students suffer from eating disorders. With obesity being on the rise, and the standards of beauty only just changing ever so slowly, there have been many cases of eating disorders throughout society. But a lot of cases are more prominent in the U.S. regarding college students. In fact, according to the Walden Center Education and Research, 15% of women 17 to 24 have eating disorders,1% to 7% of college males have eating disorders, 20% of college students said they have or previously had had an eating disorders, and 91% of female college students have attempted to control their weight through dieting. Each of these cases are including anorexia (the voluntary loss of appetite), bulimia (binge eating and forcibly purging the food), and binge eating (continuously eating without feeling satisfied). And with each of these eating disorders, comes the terrible mental and physical effects.
- Distorted body image
- Passionate need and want to be thin
- Ignorance of the feeling of hunger
- Low blood pressure
- Kidney failure
- Dry and frail skin and hair
- Sore throat
- Enamel erosion and gum disease due to the presence of stomach acid
- Irregular heartbeat
- Weak muscles
- Risk of obesity
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gallbladder disease
- Feeling of loneliness
All of the effects on the body is very surprising. But, by the time people are old enough to go to college, most of them are already aware of what eating disorders are and the consequences, so the question is why do people decide to subject themselves to the harsh trails of eating disorders? Well, there are various reasons as to why eating disorders happen. It has been found that most people have eating disorders because of low self-esteem and being unsatisfied with the way that they look. Most wanting to fit in with the modern standards of beauty; to be thin like all the beautiful models and celebrities in pop culture media. Because of this thought, many believe that if they become skinny, they'll be as gorgeous and acceptable as these exposed Hollywood figure heads. Reasons beyond that vary from peer pressure or bullying, being a part of athletic extracurricular, emotional traumas, even new parenthood.
There are many reasons why people will develop eating disorders despite knowing the consequences or not. But the bottom line is, that eating disorders are one of the most horrible issues that a number of college students go through, both male and female. It is nothing to be ashamed of but it is also nothing to be ignored, because in the most extreme cases, every 62 minutes, someone will lose their life to an eating disorder. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't hope for care and recovery. With 1 out of 10 people receiving treatment and living long lives after their experiences, there is always optimism for a healthy, happy life.
Health Tip of the week:
If you or anyone you know has an eating disorder contact the NEDA Feeding Hope Helpline at (800-931-2237). And then go enjoy a piece of cake!
This is Julian Johnson. Your friend and fellow club member from the New Media Collective Club. Congratulations on your next blog. You are on a roll with these articles. Keep up the great work!
Thanks, chocolate cake voice!!!! Can’t wait to hear your next podcast!
I love the title of this article which is why I wanted to read it!
I am a person who always is paying attention to my weight. I want to become the best me with my size and weight. I must be honest losing weight has been one of the most troubling things for me, but I will not give up! One thing I make sure I do is EAT even if it’s so called bad, because it is important to enjoy yourself. To keep myself on track within my weight loss journey I make sure I have a cheat day. Funny thing is my cheat day is today and I am about to head over to my favorite Ice-cream spot to get some Ice-cream:)
I think there are so many factors when it comes to individuals with eating disorders. I think it is very important to make sure you eat along with the proper food intake, however, there are a lot of people out here suffering. People are suffering to the point of giving up hope with themselves as well. I agree that people who have these struggles will need to seek help due to the mental and physical effects that will come as a result of the disorder. I just pray they have the love and support needed while going through it.
I love how you are raising awareness about eating disorders. Many people do not pay attention to this or notice how big of a problem it is in our community.
Many people are victims of food disorder, regrettably some of us end up going back to unhealthy food due to the nature of work, classes we take, and family. This is really motivational.
This a great article that points out the importance of eating. I’m dealing with weight issues but, I am trying to keep myself on a good diet and not resort to harsh diets . This is a really big eye opener for people dealing with this
Eating disorders play a huge role in mental illness. Distorted personal image and depression are a huge factor!