Eating Disorders have become increasingly abundant among young women and are extremely dangerous. It is surprising to some that the struggle which those individuals suffer from eating disorders is not about food or weight but rather, about control. Eating disorders are derived from individual's extreme attitudes towards food. The individuals attempt to control these attitudes through extreme behaviors ("What is"). Individuals engage in these behaviors in the hopes of gaining control. Ironically, individuals end up loosing control thus leading to an eating disorder. The three main types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and compulsive overeating disorder. Each disorder is characterized by its own symptoms and complications.
Anorexia nervosa is mainly characterized by excessive weight loss and an intense fear of gaining weight ("What is"). People with this disorder typically have a body weight that is "Ã¢ÂÂ¦at least fifteen percent below the individuals 'ideal' weightÃ¢ÂÂ¦" ("About Eating"). Its symptoms include a body mass index (BMI) of 17.5
or less, loss of menstrual periods and a distorted body image. Anorexics are also known for fasting, restricting food intake, refusing to maintain a reasonable, healthy weight and are extremely preoccupied with their body weight and shape (Abraham 26).
Bulimia nervosa is a disorder which includes a repetitive cycle of bingeing and purging. According to the article "Eating Disorders", those with bulimia try desperately to keep their disorder a secret and, unlike anorexia, they typically maintain a body weight within the normal range with respect to their height and age ("Eating Disorders"). Symptoms of bulimia include consistent episodes of binging and purging and feeling out of control while binging. Bulimics resort to using extreme measures to avoid weight gain following a binge episode. These measures include self induced vomiting, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse, strict dieting, fasting or vigorous exercise (Abraham 33).