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Miranda Rutkai
Ms. Elizabeth Metzger
Health
27 Oct 2015
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder commonly referred to as Anorexia. Anorexia is an
abnormally low amount of fat on ones body, the individuals perception of his or her own body
is distorted and irrational, and he or she is obsessively fearful of weight gain. (Mayo Clinic Staff,
30 Dec. 2014). The symptoms of Anorexia include all of the following: Extreme weight loss,
abnormal blood counts, fatigue, insomnia, abnormally thin appearance, dizziness, bluish fingers,
hair thinning, soft hair on the body, loss of period, constipation, dry skin, irregular heartbeat, and
dehydration (Mayo Clinic Staff, 30 Dec. 2014). There are diverse kinds of risk factors related to
why certain individuals may be more prone to being Anorexic. There are some genes that one
may accumulate through biological factors that cause them to be more at risk to developing
Anorexia (Mayo Clinic Staff, 30 Dec. 2014). If an individuals mom or dad had been Anorexic,
then it is more likely that the child will become Anorexic. Some may feel the urge to be perfect
or may have had parents put too much on emphasis on perfectionism and looks, which could
cause some children or teenagers to acquire Anorexia (Mayo Clinic Staff, 30 Dec. 2014). They
may feel the constant urge to be perfect in all aspects because of the pressure their parents put on
them. Because women usually focus more on their looks than males, it is more common in
women, but none the less, prevalent among both genders. Another risk factor of being Anorexic
is that if an individual has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), he or she is more likely to
obtain the rigidity and stringency to be loyal to a certain diet. Many people who have Anorexia

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also have OCD due to the obsession of the two diseases (May Clinic Staff, 30 Dec. 2014). An
environment factor contributing to Anorexia may be the society that the individual lives in. In
our society today, everyone wants to be thin and not overweight (Mayo Clinic Staff, 30 Dec.
2014). From a young age, little girls are seeing pictures, magazines, movies, and TV shows
advertising the perfect body for a female. As young children they are taught what the ideal
body is. Because of peer pressure and societys pressure to look perfectly skinny and thin, it
puts stress on females of all ages to attain that level of beauty. It is pertinent that whoever suffers
from this disease gets treatment as soon as possible because the consequences can be deadly. In
females, they can lose their period and males will have less testosterone (Mayo Clinic Staff, 30
Dec. 2014). Anemia, heart problems, low potassium, gastrointestinal problems, bone loss, kidney
problems, suicide, depression, OCD, personality disorders, alcohol and substance abuse are some
of the major effects of being anorexic (Mayo Clinic Staff, 30 Dec. 2014). When treating an
individual with Anorexia, it is important to stay calm and to help them understand that they can
conquer this disease. If the individual needs instant treatment by professionals due to certain
heart or other body complications, they need to be admitted to the hospital (Mayo Clinic Staff,
30 Dec. 2014). In order to get back to a healthy weight and to maintain it, the doctor may suggest
a dietician along with a therapist to help the patient with the psychological problems that he or
she is facing. It is important for the individual to stop focusing on losing weight but also to not
be focused on gaining weight either. The goal is for the individual to not focus on he or shes
weight because that is how the obsession started in the beginning. It is also important that the
patient has family support along with friend support through this hard time. Isolation is not
helpful because it will encourage the individual to look at his or her own problems and revert
back to thinking about losing weight (Mayo Clinic Staff, 30 Dec. 2014). All of these examples of

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appropriate treatment can be used on a large scale for all people with Anorexia. I think it would
also be an ingenious idea to stop portraying only skinny females as being beautiful, whether that
be on TV, movies, magazines, or magazines. Not only do thousands of teenagers and adults every
day see this false idea of beauty, but it is setting an example to all the children in the world. It is
telling little girls that they need to look a certain way for a boy to like her. It is portraying only
beauty in a size 0. That is not the example that I want for my daughters, let alone the kids of this
generation.
A social determinant of health for Anorexia Nervosa would be stress. If an individual is
undergoing a major transition through life, he or she may turn to becoming Anorexic as a coping
mechanism against the change and stress. For example, if a mom and dad are getting a divorce,
their teenage daughter may become Anorexic to deal with the stress from her family splitting up.
She may also subconsciously want attention from her parents since she feels neglected and lost.
Many Anorexic individuals deal with a lot of stress due to certain problems and changes going
on around them, whether that be divorce, high school transitions, moving into college, or
anything life altering that causes stress. If the Anorexic person cannot control the changes going
on around them, she may become Anorexic because eating food and not eating is the one thing
she can control in her life. When I was Anorexic in the end of my 8th grade year through my
freshman year in high school, I think that was one of the factors that contributed to me becoming
Anorexic. My parents split up and were going through a long, hard divorce. I could not do
anything to change or control it, but the one thing I could control was my eating. With so many
things in this world that are out of my control, I realized that eating was one thing that I could
control. If someone dealing with stress focuses on bettering themselves by working out, reading
the Bible, or spending time with family and friends, then they would soon realize that this would

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be a healthier alternative than to starve themselves. Another social determinant of health for
Anorexia Nervosa would be early life. As a child, maybe her parents emphasized perfection
growing up. She may feel the need to be constantly being perfect, whether that be in grades,
sports, academic, or in her appearance. If a childs mom became fixated on eating and became
Anorexic, her little girl would see that example and may take on the same role later on in life.
Sometimes a woman may become Anorexic in her young adult years because as a child her mom
may have repeatedly offended her looks and body. This can cause a deep root of never being
beautiful enough which her daughter could take with her the rest of her life. Early life can
greatly increase the chances of an individual becoming Anorexic, but it can also decrease the
chances. If a girls parents do not place value on body weight and are not fixated on her food
intake, then it will decrease the chances of an individual becoming Anorexic because that is what
she was taught. Anorexia relates to college kids in several ways. As students, we are all involved
with social media whether that be Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter. We are constantly
comparing ourselves to societys idea of beauty and also other individuals with different body
types than us. We watch TV and movies and see how actors and actresses are portrayed. If an
actress is not thin, she will be called fat and ugly. As college kids, this sets an example of how
we think that we should look. Students undergo many changes and transitions through college
and by having a lot of stress and the influence of our early life, we can fall under being anorexic
if we do not watch ourselves. We need to realize that societys idea of beauty is fake and
distorted, that no one will ever naturally look like the photo shopped models we see on the
runway of the Victorias Secret fashion show.
There are many different stigmas associated with the disease Anorexia Nervosa. Many
people judge the person and the disease without even having the knowledge of Anorexia. A

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stigma would be that people think the disease is self-inflicting and that the individual can easily
stop being anorexic, which is not the case (Dimitropoulos, Gina, 2008). Many people jump to
conclusions and think that Anorexia is easily fixable, which in reality, it is a hard to overcome
disease. Another stigma is that people think that Anorexia is just a mindset not a mental illness
(Dimitropoulos, Gina, 2008). They think that Anorexia is not a mental illness but merely an
easily fixable state of mind. A third stigma associated with Anorexia Nervosa would be that
others around the Anorexic person feel like it is hard to communicate with the individual
(Dimitropoulos, Gina, 2008). I think that they may feel like this because usually when someone
is Anorexic, he or she tends to be closed off and not social. There is so much obsessions and
worrying going on in he or shes head that they have a hard time socializing with others. The
media perpetuates the stigmas associated with Anorexia because of what it promotes. Most of the
models in all the magazines and commercials look and are Anorexic. Society tells us that we
need to be a certain weight and the ideal body image always changes over the years. On social
media, people make fun of one another so easily and are so quick to judge someone who may be
too skinny or too fat which in turn, causes the Anorexic individuals to be insecure with what they
look like. This not only affects the individual, but the entire group of Anorexic individuals as a
whole. Society is constantly criticizing one another and tearing each other down which causes us
to do the same to ourselves. In order to combat these negative consequences and improve health
outcomes, veracity, an ethical principle needs to be incorporated. Veracity means to tell the truth.
I think that if the media was truthful about how they portrayed models then it would not give
individuals a false idea of beauty. The media trains people to think that the airbrushed models are
beautiful when in reality, they are not telling the truth about what the models really look like. If
veracity was incorporated, models would look like normal human beings, therefore, individuals

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would not feel inadequate compared to the ideal body type. Anorexia Nervosa is a disease that
has been cultured and supported by societys false idea of being beautiful. By promoting diverse
body types that are healthy and authentic, everyone would know the true definition of beauty.

References
Dimitropoulos, Gina. (2008). Stigmatization of eating disorders. Nedic.ca. Retrieved from
http://nedic.ca/sites/default/files/files/StigmatizationOfEatingDisorders.pdf
Mayo Clinic Staff. (30 Dec. 2014). Anorexia Nervosa. Mayoclinic.org. Retrieved from
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anorexia/basics/definition/con-20033002