To Eat or Not to Eat

Essay by cdrewCollege, Undergraduate April 2004

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"Eleven million women and one million men suffer from eating disorders" (Mosley 29), and "at least nine out of ten eating disorder sufferers are female" (Sohn 46). The causes of all these people having these issues vary from their own self image to others telling them that they are overweight. Males and females all over the United States have struggled with body image throughout their lives. The messages on television and in magazines aimed at all ages make it seem that society only accepts slender builds, causing many to do drastic things such as throw up what they are eating or else not eat at all.

There are many solutions, however, to the growing problem of eating disorders. Author Benita Mosley believes that being an athlete will reduce the chance of getting an eating disorder, and she relays that in "Striking the Balance". USA Today published a story that supports that same idea called "College Athletes are Healthier Than Most".

Another point is made by Dr. Jennifer O'Dea, where she published in Primary Educator an article called "Activities to Improve Body Image and Prevent Eating Problems in Children". She explains that schools can get involved to help young children before a problem starts. Along with her, Stephanie Nugent states ways that teachers can help perfectionist children so that they don't end up with eating disorders in "Perfectionism: Its Manifestations and Classroom Based Interventions". Finally, parents can get involved, which is looked at in "The Hunger Artists", by Emily Sohn. If parents are setting a good example for their kids, then they won't feel the pressure of being a certain weight. Athletics, schools and parents are just a few solutions to this growing problem that have proven successful over the years.

One way to pull kids away from such horrible habits...