Essay by trace7988Junior High, 8th gradeA, July 2004

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What Is Bulimia?

Bulimia, also known as bulimia nervosa, is a psychological eating disorder involving overeating (binge-eating) and self-induced vomiting (purging). Bulimia is not only when someone vomits, its also when someone uses inappropriate methods of weight control. This includes fasting, enemas, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising.

Bulimia is a serious eating disorder which mainly affects females, although males may also become sufferers. Statistics vary, but among teenage girls, anorexia is thought to affect between 1% and 2%. The commonness of bulimia, which tends to affect people from the late teens on, may be as great as one-in-six tertiary students. Approximately 5% of sufferers of anorexia are male, with a higher incidence among bulimics. Eating disorders involve a preoccupation with control over eating, body weight and food; but anorexics are determined to control the amounts and kinds of food they eat, while bulimics tend to feel out of control where food is concerned.

Both disorders can be overcome. The sooner a person seeks advice about the condition the better.

Bulimia usually affects a slightly older age group, often women in their early to mid-twenties who also have been overweight as children. It will affect 3 out of every 100 women at some time in their lives. Like anorexics, people with bulimia suffer from an exaggerated fear of becoming fat. Unlike women with anorexia the bulimic woman usually manages to keep her weight within normal limits. She can do this because, although she tries to lose weight by making herself sick or taking laxatives, she also 'binge eats'. This involves eating, in a very short time, large quantities of fattening foods that she would not normally allow herself. For example, she might get through numerous packets of biscuits, several boxes of chocolates and a number of cakes...