Facts About Eating Disorders

The Scary Truth:

  • 80% of adolescent girls feel "bad" about their bodies.
  • 75% of adolescent girls feel "fat".
  • 70% are on diets at any given time.
  • The average American women is 5’4" tall and weights 140 pounds.
  • The average American man is 5’11" tall and weights 117 pounds.
  • The number of people with disorders and borderline conditions is triple the number of people living with Aids.
  • Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women.


These facts should not surprise anyone. Given the extreme pressure that young girls feel from a society that adores thin women making young girls feel that thin is what they need to be successful and loved. Eating disorders are serious DISEASES that need to be prevented and if to late needs immediate intervention. The resources out there are accessible and plentiful, refer to the resource section of this page for a few good starts.

Look for these Signs (1):

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Refusal to maintain weight at or above a minimally normal weight for height and age
  • Intense fear of weight gain
  • Distorted body image
  • In females, loss of three consecutive menstrual periods
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape

 

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Repeated episodes of bingeing and purging
  • Feeling out of control during a binge
  • Purging after a binge (vomiting, use of laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, excessive exercise, or fasting)
  • Frequent dieting
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape

 

Tips for Parents:

  1. Examine the way you view yourself.
  2. Make sure you are conveying a message of "I love you for you" to your kids.
  3. Learn the basics of Healthy Eating and teach your kids.
  4. Take time out to exercise with your kids – go swimming, take a nature hike or play Frisbee at a picnic.
  5. Monitor your child’s TV watching to help avoid filling their minds with unattainable body images from the TV and/or educate your child so they know TV does not always portray the actual.
  6. Do not put your child on a "diet," instead make lifestyle changes. For example carrots instead of potato chips, chicken burger instead of a hamburger, baked French fries instead of fried, and a vegetable pizza instead of a sausage pizza.

 

Resources:

Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc. Toll free information and referral Hotline. 1-800-931-2237 (this is not for counseling).

     References:

  1. Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc. 1999.
  2. US Department of health and Health Care Issues. Guillen & Barr. (1994).
  3. Smolak, 1996.