To Ignore The Feast

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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To Ignore the Feast Today, I noticed something when I was talking to my friends at lunch. I noticed that almost our whole conversation revolved around the different diets that we were all on. There was the grapefruit diet, the water and pretzels diet, and the popular carbohydrates diet. It scared me to realize that in our culture, weight has become such a factor in teenagers' lives. While it has led most girls to want to join a gym, or to eat healthier, it has led a staggering amount of other young people to stop eating altogether. The debilitating disease of anorexia, was once thought of as a "supermodels" disease. However, thanks to media influences such as television, magazines, and most recently, the Internet, it has become a mainstream problem. Now more than ten million Americans, most of them between the ages of eight and twenty, are afflicted with anorexia.

The downward spiral of the illness usually begins with dieting, but in the most extreme of cases, ends with death. While therapy is always an option, it is usually a tedious and expensive process. Truly there is no cure for the disease, and to try to control it is a life-long battle.

Anorexia literally means "nervous loss of appetite" but its technical definition is to suppress a constant strong urge to eat, for fear of becoming fat. The disease is most common in females, however the male percentage is rapidly increasing. Most anorexics are highly intelligent perfectionists, who have low self-esteem. Anorexia usually starts with the person feeling isolated, they want to fit in, and in their minds to fit in they have to be thin. They start to diet, but soon realize they can cut food out of the equation entirely. Most also exercise for at least two hours...