Eating disorders (ED) refer to severe disturbances in eating behaviors. There is a relationship between an individual’s eating patterns and their thoughts and emotions. According to a research, there is a high prevalence of conditions such as anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) among young people (Zeeni, Safieddine, & Doumit, 2017). The topic is essential to mental health nursing since eating disorders co-exist with critical conditions such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. Therefore, the information on eating disorders is vital as it can help mental health practitioners to develop strategic approaches that can help address the problem.
A significant portion of the young population suffers from eating disorders. Worldwide, the average prevalence rate in young females is about 0.3 % for AN, 1 % for BN and at least 1 % for BED (Zeeni et al., 2017). Besides, a 2013 research study involving 104 participants with eating disorders across Lebanon ranked the most common ailments. The findings indicated that bulimia nervosa was the most prevalent ED at 46.1 % followed by anorexia nervosa at 39.4 % and binge eating at 14.4 % (Zeeni et al., 2017). Thus, there is a need to enhance public awareness about the illness.
The article outlines a profile of Lebanese outpatients who have experienced eating disorders. It creates and analyses socio-demographic patterns that lead to ED with the aim of providing guidelines on preventing the illness. The authors reveal that symptoms of ED are usually highly prevalent and persistent among school and college students. Their research shows that it begins at a mean age of 19.8 years old (Zeeni et al., 2017). Besides, it affirms that there is a relationship between socio-economic status and eating disorders. Also, there is a delay in seeking help due to lack of knowledge and awareness about ED in communities.
The information presented in the article is useful. It is applicable in the nursing practice as it provides data that can help a practitioner to understand the causes of the disorder. Knowledge about factors that aggravate the adverse effects of eating disorders can guide the formulation of preventive strategies. For instance, exposure to media forms such as fashion magazines and beauty related articles can influence self-perceptions leading to extreme desires to become thin (Zeeni et al., 2017). Using this information, practitioners can learn how to demystify images and standards of perfection portrayed in media that mislead adolescents and young adults.
One of the strengths of the article is that it accounts for the influence of the social-economic status on eating behaviors. While other researchers may attribute the conditions to factors such as genetics, an individual’s social-economic class also plays a significant role in their eating patterns. However, the research report has a shortcoming. Given the high prevalence of the condition across the world, the researchers should have involved more participants. A higher number would have made the results more reliable and increased generalizability to other populations.
The article presents comprehensive information about eating disorders. It covers essential parts and aspects that are a significant health concern. Through their investigation and review of the collected data, the author’s present viable measures that can help health care professionals combat the illness. Besides, the report emphasizes the need for a unique public health approach to the problem (Zeeni et al., 2017). Therefore, it is recommendable to other colleagues in the sector.
In conclusion, eating disorders are a significant public health concern. The association between illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating with severe mental disorders necessitates an urgent intervention. Its high prevalence rate among young people makes the disease a critical issue. Thus, it is necessary for the public health system to implement strategic means of preventing eating disorders.
Zeeni, N., Safieddine, H., & Doumit, R. (2017). Eating disorders in Lebanon: Directions for public health action. Community Mental Health Journal, 53(1), 117-125. Doi:10.1007/s10597-015-9917-x