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The Continuum: Anorexia, Bulimia, and Weight Preoccupation
Transcript of The Continuum: Anorexia, Bulimia, and Weight Preoccupation
“Only a matter of degree separates those women who diet, work out, and obsess about their body shape and calorie intake from the more extreme behaviors of anorexia and bulimia”
A Feminist Approach to Eating Disorders
• “How women deal with their bodies and their psychological distress is mediated by social acceptable strategies. It is therefore objectionable to label those who adopt more extreme measures as psychopathological, disordered, or diseased while simultaneously encouraging and rewarding dieting and weight preoccupation as healthy and normal when much of this more common behavior is itself, very extreme.” (pg. 194)
Some Alarming Statistics
• 95% of anorexics and bulimics are women
• 20% of female college students are bulimic
• 79% of female college students experience bulimic episodes
• by age 18, 80% of women have dieted to lose weight
• by age 13, 60% of girls have begun to diet in general
• From a survey of 33,000 women and girls, 75% felt as if they were, in their own opinions, too fat. However, out of these women, 45% were medically defined as underweight.
Up to 20% of people who are diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia die
What is Weight Preoccupation
Not only affecting women with diagnosed eating disorders, this includes “fear of fatness, denial of appetite, exaggeration of body size, depression, emotional eating, and rigid dieting.” (pg. 193)
• It can be concluded that most women use dieting and weight loss as a force to solve major problems in their lives because weight loss is attributed to feeling more confident, being more kind to themselves, being friendly or outgoing, and just generally being happier.
• When women feel as if their bodies don’t measure up to what they believe is thin or “healthy” they believe they themselves don’t measure up as people either. This leads to women feeling as if their talents, skills, and accomplishments are invalid because they aren’t what they consider as presentable.
• Even one of the nations most powerful women, Oprah Winfrey, after losing a large amount of weight a few years back considers that specific feat meant more to her than anything she had ever accomplished.
What are Anorexia and Bulimia
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation
Bulimia is another eating disorder characterized by binging and purging
Women need to realize that they are not only victims of social pressure, but are contributing to it when the subject themselves to weight preoccupation.