Eating disorders characterizes a condition described by an abnormality in a person’s eating habits. A person can either take insufficient food or take excessive amounts of it. This contributes to the deterioration of a person’s physical or mental health over a time. There are three categories of eating disorders namely; Bulimia Nervosa, anorexia Nervosa, and Binge eating disorder (Mandal, 2013). Recent studies on human health indicate that women have more eating disorders than men. The research findings are true as most women across the globe are compelled to unhealthy eating habits by various biological, physiological, and social-cultural factors in the society.
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In the common society, the image of a person suffering from an eating disorder is portrayed by a young, thin lady with anorexia (Warren, 2009). Rarely do men suffering from the same condition anguish from the negative stereotype perpetrated by the society. However, different societies and cultures in various parts of the world have driven women to adopt abnormal eating habits. For example, in North America, most women get concerned that they are overweight even if their weight is fitting. This phenomenon is often described as the culture of thinness (Matlin, 2012). In North America, most women start focusing on becoming slim as early as during their adolescence stage. They consider this to be in line wih the modern fashion and style.
The second causative factor to the increase in eating disorders among women is discrimination against overweight women (Matlin, 2012). Numerous societies in different regions of the world are biased against overweight women. People become hesitant of making a racism joke than they are on commenting about an overweight woman. The adverse effect of discrimination against overweight women is extended even in they work place. For example, overweight women have a lower chance of getting hired as compared to women who are slender. They also tend to earn lower wages than slender women, and they are not likely to be promoted to a senior position. This discrimination drives women to abnormal eating behaviors in a bid to control their body size.
Today, more men are becoming susceptible to eating disorders. The number of men suffering from their unhealthy eating habits has increased tremendously over the last 10 years. Kronberg, director and founder of Eating Disorders Associates Treatment and Referral Centers, pointed out that this is caused by a yearning for body perfection (Zelman, 2005). Men today feel the pressure of becoming thin in the belief that they will look good. This has compelled some men to undertake some physical exercise classes to reduce their weight. Others deny themselves fatty diets in order to control their weight.
Kronberg claims that this trend has been accelerated by popular urban culture advanced by the media. Boys from a young age are surrounded by action figures that portray subtle messages about unrealistic role models (Zelman, 2005). Boys admire the well sculpted and heavily muscled actions figures they have as toys. In turn, they envision attaining a well structured body physic during their lifetime. This is one on the prime factors which has contributed to the ongoing trend of eating disorders among men.
For decades, eating disorders have been characterized to be “White women’s disease” (Tartakovsky, 2008). Nevertheless, recent research shows that more men are also having eating disorders than in the past. Out of about 3000 people suffering from both Anorexia and Bulimia, 25 percent are found to be men. These statistical findings about eating disorder patterns in men indicate an upward trend.
In conclusion, eating disorder is a serious social problem. For decades, overweight women have suffered more than men due to the negative stereotype perpetrated by the society. Discrimination against fat women is rampant in many cultures. Victims are denied a favorable chance of performing the best in some professions because of their eating disorders. On the other hand, men are as perfect they have become more susceptible to eating disorders.
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