Essay by kutiepye922High School, 11th grade February 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

Bulimia Nervosa is an illness that is most commonly found in girls of later adolescence and early adulthood. It is very rarely found in men. It is characterized by episodes of binge eating which is eating large quantities of food in a short time. This behavior may be very severe with enormous quantities of food, most typically carbohydrates being consumed. To prevent the otherwise inevitable consequence of weight gain, there are periods of food restriction, vomiting, laxative abuse or excessive exercising. When vomiting is used, the binges may become multiple with repeating cycles over several hours in which the sufferer eats until full, then vomits and eats again. With increasing severity, the girls' lives become more chaotic with the focus increasingly on the bulimic behavior. Such is the drive to eat that they may scavenge leftovers from a dustbin or steal in order to feed the compulsion. They generally find their own behavior disgusting and are deeply ashamed of it so that it almost always occurs in secret.

Bulimia was only diagnosed as its own eating disorder in the 1980s (Hall 27). People with bulimia can look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight, and some may be overweight. Women with bulimia tend to be high achievers. It is often difficult to determine whether a person is suffering from bulimia. This occurs because binging and purging is often done in secret. Also, individuals suffering from bulimia often deny their condition. Sufferers consume huge quantities of food. Sometimes up to 20,000 calories at a time. The foods on which they binge tend to be foods labeled as "comfort foods" -- sweet foods, high in calories, or smooth, soft foods like ice cream, cake, and pastry ("Consequences on Bulimia" 1). An individual may binge anywhere from twice a day to...