The Relationship Between Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorder Among Exercisers (Part 7)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sue-Yee Tan, Wan-Ping Yew

1.8 Eating Disorder
Many past studies have indicated that body dissatisfaction leads to eating disorders (Stice & Bearman, 2001; Klemchunk et. al., 1990; Keski-Rahkonen et. al., 2005). According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), eating disorders are defined as severe disturbances in the eating behaviors of an individual that affects one’s emotions and beliefs. People who suffer with eating disorders are generally over concerned with their body image that could a person’s life to be at risk. According to Health and Human Services (2011), eating disorders that involve physical and psychological elements would negatively affect an individual’s growth and development. Furthermore, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association, 2000), eating disorders includes two important diagnosis, which are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is defined as an individual with the fear of weight gaining and who refuses to maintain a normal weight. Meanwhile, bulimia nervosa is defined as constant binge eating and purging patterns that lead to compensatory behavior, such as vomiting, fasting, engage in excessive exercise and laxative use (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Milligan & Pritchard, 2006).
Many people have been suffering from depression and feelings of having an imperfect and unattractive body shape; they often ‘feel fat’ and always perceive themselves as ‘obese’ even though they are in the normal weight range. According to Association for Anorexia and Bulimia, eating disorders are recorded as the third most chronic problem faced by the people, particularly in adolescent females. In America, there are more than 10 million Americans females and one million males suffering from life-threatening eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia (Crowther et. al., 1992; National Eating Disorders Association, 2005). According to Central Region Eating Disorder Services; CREDS (2007), in the United States, Canada and Australia, every in 100 adolescent females, there would be one with anorexia nervosa, and about two to five with bulimia nervosa. There are about two million people involved in binge eating behavior that is closely attached with resulting obesity (Duke Medicine, 2010). Furthermore, a study done by Pallan et. al., (2011), reported that children as young as 5 develop a self-awareness of their body image and a level of dissatisfaction with their bodies that climb to a high of 80% of South Asian children in the U.K. In addition, a study in Korea done by Jung et. al., (2009), showed that Korean youngsters have greater body dissatisfaction than U.S participants, regardless of gender differences. Besides that, Better Health Channel from Australia in 2011 also indicated that 17 percent of men were on weight loss programs controlled by the ideal lean muscularity look that is popular. Frequently, excessive exercise and illegal muscle enhancing drugs such as steroids is popularly consumed among men. About 3 percent of the Australian teenage boys consumed Steroids in order to achieve the ‘ideal’ body shape that is lean and muscular. In addition, males with eating disorders have now tremendously increased from year to year. An Australia study by the Better Health Channel (2011) indicated that anorexic males were found in one of 10 people. Four percent of men suffered with bulimia and about three percent of men suffered with binge eating. Hence, a lean body image is widely pursued among people, regardless of gender differences, and has caused people to suffer with eating disorders. However, it is believed that men with eating disorders will consistently increase from time to time, especially among male exercisers, as they are less likelyto seek professional advice and continue to keep themselves fit though excessive exercise.
(to be continued)


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