Monday, November 29, 2010

Eating Disorders

"Eating disorders are on the rise among children and teens, according to a report published in Pediatrics Monday. Disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are increasing in male children and minorities, and also are occurring in countries where such cases have not been seen, according to the report. Lead author, Dr. David Rosen noted that eating disorders also are beginning younger meaning below the age of 12. The report also estimates that 0.5 percent of teenage girls in the United States have anorexia nervosa, and 1 percent to 2 percent met criteria for bulimia nervosa. And males make up about 10 percent of all eating disorder cases, according to the report. This spike in eating disorders paradoxically accompanied another alarming trend - about 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are estimated to be obese. (Eating Disorders Increase)"

As the percentage of obese Americans rises the pressure put on kids to be active and diet, so they do not become overweight, rises too. This pressure and the image Hollywood has given to kids about what is beautiful has caused some kids to develop eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia. While the pressure to be thin is targeted to everyone, cheerleaders are especially vulnerable to this pressure. Being a flyer, I am under constant pressure to stay thin and light because girls my size are lifting and throwing me into the air; and the lighter I am, the easier it is for them to do this. Also, with uniforms showing more and more skin, the pressure to have a perfect body keeps increasing. Some college programs even mandate that their cheerleaders have a certain body fat percentage to be on their squad. I understand that obesity is becoming a serious problem for our country, but it needs to be less of a commercialized thing and more of a deal with it at the home issue. I know my school had done a BMI rating before, and I don't think that they should have. First off a child’s height and weight tell you very little; for example I was 5'2" and 120 lbs when my school had done this rating and my BMI concluded that I was at risk for becoming obese; I am now 18 and still at this height and weight and anyone by looking at me would never conclude that I was at risk for being obese. This inaccurate BMI rating, if I would have taken it seriously, could have caused me to have an eating disorder. I believe that all the talk about not eating this or that because it's unhealthy and you need to exercise everyday is giving kids the wrong idea. Where as the media's trying to help instill these habits; kids are taking it to the extreme, instead of just trying to be healthy.

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