Dying to Be Thin

Many people all around the world both men and women struggle with weight gaining as well as weight loss. The various weight gain/loss programs that are adopted by many people and in most cases women are somewhat not very appropriate. Kristin Leutwyler being a young woman experienced severe issues with eating disorders. Weight loss, unlike weight gain, is the most common act going on all over. Many young women, in particular, feel nice being associated with slender physique, unlike plus sizes (Leutwyler, 2006). To some, it becomes an obsession that they even end up self -starving themselves literally to avoid gaining weight. Other people struggling with obesity tend to use alternative ways to lose weight. Obesity results from compulsive eating. This weight loss and frequent starvation become catastrophic when it now leads in a condition known as anorexia.

Eating disorder is mental and a potential death sentence that may lead to anorexia. ( Dakanalis, Gaudio, Serino, Clerici, Carrà, and Riva, 2016). Anorexia is a condition of self-starvation brought about by lack of appetite. People suffering from anorexia usually suffer from extremely minimal and low body weight as compared to their body types and height. The appropriateness of an individual’s body weight is generally assessed and determined using the Body Mass Index (BMI). Therefore the BMI of an anorexic person or a person with an eating disorder is way below that of a healthy feeding person. Eating disorders are exceedingly becoming complex diseases resulting from a combination of biological, environmental and social factors (Leutwyler, 2006). An anorexic diagnosis additionally is indicated by observations on the individual’s eating patterns, personality traits as well as exercise. Anorexic people often believe that they are much heavier than they are supposed to be. This belief makes them lose more weight leading to distorted body shape and image (Dakanalis et al., 2016).  Men and women experiencing this disorder exemplify a stature with a thin body and eating patterns that are abnormal. Many of the young women who fail to receive enough nutrition in their teen years experience damage in their skeletal growth (Leutwyler, 2006). As a result, conditions like premature osteoporosis and bone fracture occur.

Anorexia is in two main categories namely restrictive anorexia and Binge/Purge type anorexia. In restrictive anorexia, the one suffering from it is usually viewed as one with high self-discipline (Dakanalis et al., 2016). They look out carefully at the food quantity they consume as well as high calories and sugar foods. Here, the restrictive anorexics consume far fewer calories than the ones required to maintain healthy body weight (Dakanalis et al., 2016). In binge anorexia, the person with this form of anorexia will tend to purge after feeding. It then alleviates the scare of weight gain and relieves some guilt of having eaten unwanted or restricted food. This situation may lead to individual vomiting or vigorously exercising. Compulsive eating can lead to esophagus and stomach rupturing (Leutwyler, 2006). Purging also tends to flush the body to essential minerals thus predisposing the individual to cardiac arrest (Leutwyler, 2006). In worst case scenarios it can lead to heart failure.

An eating disorder may result from the predisposition of genetic traits, environmental factors, and personality traits. In the case of environmental factors that may lead to an eating disorder and in turn anorexia, the media plays a vital role. The effects thinness in association to modeling for the women being displayed all over the internet and television has brought about self-denial. This media influence has stereotyped thin people as ideal (Dakanalis et al., 2016). Severe childhood trauma may also result in an individual being anorexic as well as peer pressure from friends and people who associate thin with sexy. Biological factors may include genetics and irregular hormonal functions.

An individual with eating disorders may experience various symptoms like emaciation, hair thinning, and isolation from people among others (Leutwyler, 2006). These symptoms are dangerous for one’s health as they may lead to death. It is therefore essential for people to seek medical guidelines on how to maintain perfect body balance and shape. The principal way of treating eating disorders is by getting and allowing people to accept that they suffer from it (Leutwyler, 2006). There is also the nutritional side of it where individuals with this condition are supposed to watch their feeding patterns as well as what they eat. They should have a tailored meal plan. They should also learn healthier coping skills that are therapeutic and exercise smartly. By so doing they will end up maintaining a reasonable body shape and a healthy body without necessarily going through self-starvation.



Dakanalis, A., Gaudio, S., Serino, S., Clerici, M., Carrà, G., & Riva, G. (2016). Body-image distortion in anorexia nervosa. Nature Reviews Disease Primers2, 16026.

Leutwyler, K. (2006). Dying to Be Thin. Scientific American Special Edition16(4), 84–88. https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1206-84sp

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