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Transcript of Anorexia Nervosa
People diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa are obsessed with controlling their eating. The obsession is derived from the belief that by controlling their bodies they can control their lives. The obsession is usually controlled through starvation.
There are no direct answer for the cause of Anorexia Nervosa and other eating disorders. Anorexia is a complicated condition that is rooted from a combination of many social, emotional, and biological factors. While our culture's romanticism of thinness plays a powerful role, there are many other contributing factors, including the family environment, emotional difficulties, low self-esteem and traumatic experiences the patient might have gone through in the past to end up in this situation.
People with anorexia are often perfectionists and overachievers. They are the obedient child that does everything they’re told to do, excel in everything they do, and always focuses on pleasing others.
While they may appear to have it all together, inside they feel helpless, inadequate, and worthless. Through their harshly critical lens, if they’re not perfect, they’re a total failure.
Risk Factors Associated With Anorexia Nervosa
Family & Social Pressures:
In addition to the cultural pressures to be thin, there are other pressures such as family and social which influence in this battle negatively.
This can include participation in activities that demands slenderness, such as modeling, gymnastics or ballet to name a few.
It also includes having parents who are overly controlling, put a lot of emphasis on looks, diet themselves, or criticize their children’s bodies and appearance to suit the approval glances of family members.
Stressful life events—such as the onset of puberty, a breakup, parents divorce, or going away to school—can also trigger anorexia.
Biological Causes of Anorexia:
Research suggests that a genetic predisposition to anorexia may run in families. If a girl has a sibling with anorexia, she is 10 to 20 times more likely than the general population to develop anorexia herself.
Brain chemistry also plays a significant role. People with anorexia tend to have high levels of cortisol, the brain hormone most related to stress, and decreased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are associated with feelings of well-being.
-Difficulty expressing feelings
Risk Factors Associated with Anorexia Nervosa Cont'
Risk Factors Associated With Anorexia Nervosa Cont'
-Troubled family relationships
-History of physical or sexual abuse
-Family history of eating disorders
Protective factors have not been as widely studied as risk factors. There is a great need for further study in this area as research and clinical literature have suggested that specific individual factors may protect against disordered eating behaviors.
Possible protective factors against eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors can be separated into Individual, Family and Sociocultural groups.
Protective Factors Linked to Anorexia Nervosa
-Positive Body Image
-Critical Processing of media images (i.e. media literacy)
-Being self-directed and assertive
-Good social skills with success at performing multiple social roles
-Problem solving and coping skills
INDIVIDUAL PROTECTIVE FACTORS
-Belonging to a family that does not overemphasis on weight and physical attractiveness
-Problem solving skills
-Eating regular meals with the family
-Positive Parenting Supervision
-Positive adult role models, coaches or mentors
-Strong communication & discussions within the family, openness about healthy life balance
-Participation in traditional healing and cultural activities
-Stable housing with routine and employment
FAMILY PROTECTIVE FACTORS
Availability of services within the community. Such as social, recreational, cultural.
-Peer or social support structures and relationships where weight and physical appearance are not of high concern
-Involvement with sport or industry where there is no emphasis on physical attractiveness or thinness. Basically to be apart of a team to just get some exercise
-Belonging to a social culture that accepts a range of body types shapes and sizes no matter how old or what gender they are.
SOCIO-CULTURAL PROTECTIVE FACTORS
Age of onset
Anorexia Nervosa most commonly begins during puberty and adolescent. Primarily in young women. Without a doubt the male population also face this disorder but are gone undiagnosed.
In Canada, the incidence rate of early-onset restrictive eating disorders diagnosed by pediatricians was 2.6 (95 % CI: 2.1-3.2) per 100 000 person-years in children aged 5 to 12 years.
In the Canadian study 62 % of new restrictive eating disorder cases met criteria for Anorexia Nervosa.
The prevalence of anorexia and bulimia is estimated to be 0.3% and 1.0% among adolescent and young women respectively.
Prevalence rates of anorexia and bulimia appear to increase during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood.
Epidemiology (Canadian prevalence)
Lifetime prevalence rates for Anorexia Nervosa tend to be higher among women than in men.
Lifetime prevalence of AN= 0.9% in women and 0.3% in men
Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness
It is estimated that 10% of individuals with Anorexia Nervosa will die within 10 years of the onset of the disorder.
Epidemiology (Canadian prevalence) Cont'
Epidemiology (Canadian prevalence) Cont'
-Weight fluctuations: An inability to be able to maintain the normal weight for his/ her age and height.
-An obsessive desire to be thinner hence the dieting phases start and allowing their weight and shape to overly influence how they feel about themselves.
-Being very afraid of gaining weight or becoming “FAT” that they will do anything to stop the next pound putting on by going and exercising at random times of the day.
-Being unable to see their body as it really is; it always seems larger than it actually is.
-A powerful desire to take control of their lives and feel competent. The belief is achieved by controlling the eating habits and weight of themselves.
-Significant weight loss without any logical reason, like illness.
-Significant reduction in eating accompanied by repeated denials of hunger. Starvation!!!!
This can include:
the thinning or actual loss of hair
the appearance of a fine, white hair on the body
frequently bloated feelings
yellowing palms or soles of feet and or a dry, pasty skin
Abnormal menstrual cycles in women.
Associated signs/symptoms:Signs of starvation
Death from the medical complications of anorexia or from suicide can be as high as 18%. Having the disease for a long time increases the risk of death or severe complications.
About half of those affected will make a full recovery.
Some people will develop chronic relapses.
Coexisting psychiatric conditions may complicate the prognosis.
The sooner the help gets to the patient the better in any situation.
Prognosis of Anorexia Nervosa
Grade 4's And 5's Understanding of The Pictures of Anorexia Nervosa
Grade 4's Response (Click on the Video of the girl).
Grade 5's Response (Click on the video of the girl).
This disorder has a complex characteristic portion; it is not just one issue. It is a combination of maladaptive eating behaviors as well as other psychological disturbances involving mood, obsessionality and body image perspectives.
Anorexia Nervosa Treatment Options
Anorexia treatment and therapy
To deal with this type of disorder it takes more than just one person to be involved. This situation needs to be approached and assisted with the help of a team to get the individual cooperating. A typical Anorexia Treatment team consists of medical doctors, psychologists, counselors and dieticians. The participation and support of family members also make a big difference in treatment results because having that emotional support is a huge factor to the recovery stage.
Treating anorexia involves three steps:
Getting back to a healthy weight
1)Medical treatment for anorexia
2)Nutrition: Starting to eat more food
3)Counseling: Changing how you think about yourself and food
CAMH: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Toronto: 416-595-6111
Toll Free: 1-800-463-6273
The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is a Canadian non-profit providing resources on eating disorders & weight preoccupation
Toronto 416-340-4156 Toll FREE 1-866-633-4220
Bellwood Health Services : Toronto 866-475-3254
Sick Kids: Eating Disorders Program (416) 813-7195
The Ottawa Hospital: Regional Centre for the Treatment of Eating Disorders
The first stage in treatment for Anorexia Nervosa is addressing and stabilizing any severe health issues. Malnourishment is an immediate signal for hospitalization and signs of distress stating that the patient no longer wants to live. Hospitalization is needed until the patient has reached an average weight that does not jeopardize their life. Outpatient treatment is an option when the client has surpassed the immediate medical danger zone.
Nutritional Treatment for Anorexia
Nutritional Counseling is the second stage for Anorexia treatment. A nutritionist or dietician will assist and aid the patient in understanding how eating and maintaining a healthy diet is possible. This includes the nutrition sitting side by side and developing and following through with meal plans that include enough calories to reach or maintain a normal, healthy weight.
Counseling & Therapy for Anorexia
Counseling is vital for an anorexia treatment plan. The goal is to identify the negative thought patterns and feelings that the patient is harboring, thus resulting in the eating disorder situation. After identifying, replacing them with healthier and less distorted beliefs is the target. Another vital goal of counseling is to teach the patient how to deal with difficult emotional situations, relationship problems and stress in a productive method rather than taking a self-destructing route.
Dryden- Edwards MD, R. (2014, April 7). Prognosis of Anorexia Nervosa. Retrieved March 27, 2015,
Eating Disorders Protective Factors. (2014, July 4). Retrieved March 28, 2015, from http://www.nedc.com.au/protective-factors
Hoek, H. W. (2007). Incidence, prevalence and mortality of anorexia and other eating disorders.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 19(4), 389-394.
Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G. & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The Prevalence and Correlates of Eating Disorders
in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348-358.
Kaplan, D., & Quilty, D. (2012, January 1). Eating Disorders. Retrieved March 27, 2015,
Knowing the Facts: Definitions. (2014). Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://www.nedic.ca/know-facts/definitions
Sullivan, P. (2002). Course and outcome of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In Fairburn, C. G. & Brownell, K. D. (Eds.).
Eating Disorders and Obesity (pp. 226-232). New York, New York: Guilford.
Statistics: Understanding Statistics on Eating Disorders. (2014, January 1). Retrieved March 27, 2015,
Smith M.A., M., & Segal Ph D., J. (2015, February 1). Anorexia Nervosa: Signs Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment. Retrieved March 28, 2015,
(Untitled illustration of a woman staring at herself in the mirror). Retrieved March 30, 2015
(Untitled illustration of a woman refusing to eat food that is being offered to her. Retrieved March 30, 2015
(Untitled illustration of Anorexia Nervosa Collage). Retrieved April 1st, 2015 from
(Untitled illustration of a women staring at her food). Retrieved April 1st, 2015 from
Moi 22 (Untitled illustration of a woman hunched over her knees). Retrieved April 1st, 2015
(Untitled quote of Anorexia Nervosa). Retrieved April 1st, 2015
(Untitled Body Layout of a Girl affected by Anorexia Nervosa). Retrieved April 1st, 2015
Untiled Image of Weighing Machine. Retrieved April 1st, 2015
(Distorted Mirror of Anorexia). Retrieved April 1st, 2015
(Untitled image of a woman’s waist line). Retrieved April 1st, 2015
(Untitled image of Anorexia Nervosa Cycle Image). Retrieved April 1st, 2015
Student: Arthy Uthayakumar
Class: HLTH 283 Risk Factors of Common Psychiatric Disorder
Infant / Child Adolescent
Creative Assignment #2:
Anorexia Nervosa Disorder
Professor: Judy Osborne
Date: Friday April 3rd, 2015
Observations of The Experiment
It is amazing and fascinating to watch how the ideologies of Gr 4’s and Gr 5’s vary. Even though they still have some form of the same concepts going on due to their exposures in life to healthy living. I find it that their level of acceptance has not been subjected to the thinking of social norms and the importance of being a size 0-2.
Once again, children’s mentality is always known to be innocent. However, you can still see the way the boys in Gr 4 & 5 are thinking compared to the Girls awareness from Gr 4 & 5. I find in this particular category, the boys are like "it is ok" to look the way they do. Whereas one or two of the girls are stating the issue the pictures are presenting. Hence the awareness to look overly thin and obese vocabulary and ideas are present in their minds at such a young age.