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Who?s responsible for the increasing occurrence of anorexia?
Member Name: sillygoose
Date: 10/05/04, updated on 10/05/04 (1706 review reads)
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**** ?The weight issue?: Who?s responsible for the increasing occurrence of anorexia? And how can we deal with Britain?s weight problems? ****
[I recognize this is perhaps not the most ideal category to post a review of this title, however, due to the fact dooyoo are currently not adding any suggestions for the ?Discussion? section, I have decided this is the most appropriate site. I will try to encourage the team to move it soon and hope, given this, that you can be lenient when rating.]
?Eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating, are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout western countries. According to US estimates from The National Institute of Mental Health:
15 per cent of young women have significantly disordered eating attitudes and behavior.
It is estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 Canadian women aged 13 to 40 have anorexia nervosa and twice as many have bulimia.
In the UK, nearly 2 in every 100 secondary school girls suffer from anorexia nervosa,
bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder.
And 80 per cent of 10 year olds are worried in case they become fat.
General estimates suggest that as many as 10-15 per cent of eating disorders are fatal for those affected.?
From: www.annecollins.com/eating-disorders/statistics.ht m
(Aside: firstly, I feel I should warn you ?rather than risk insulting anyone- that I intend to take a fairly light-hearted attitude when writing this opinion as it is more on the issue of weight, as I have explained earlier, rather than anorexia itself, which I do appreciate is a very serious illness.)
Sporting a $1000 dress, ?rebel? boyfriend and someone else?s stomach [thanks to Photo Shop] on the front of magazines, are celebrity Go
ldie [peroxide] Locks dictating to us what is too big, too small and just right. Though whilst more mature women tend to realise these are fair
y-tales, it is the innocent little bears that are suffering the consequences of these delusions. Indeed it seems all celebrities have an opinion on what we, in particular the young, should be doing about our weight: LOSING IT. Many of the ?I?ll-be-forgotten-by-next-week-so-I?ll-make-my-ma rk-now? types tend to exemplify these opinions through low budget workout videos. I am of course far too classy, lazy and famous for this (you never see my fellow superstars ?Madonna, Catherine Zeta-Jones, , the queen etc.- making these sorts of videos?..thank goodness!) Instead I have chosen write a review to express my opinion on what Britain should be doing about weight problems and who is really responsible for the increase in cases of anorexia; something I will not disrespect sufferers by pretending to understand the full affects of, though I have had some experience of this illness through 3 teenage friends.
Can we blame celebrities and the Fourth estate for causing the above statistics, as so many suggest? There is evidence that it is in fact dieting mothers that have a greater influence in instigating young weight watchers. Then again where are the mothers getting THEIR inspiration? Films, magazines, posters etc. Even so it does seem unfair and rather simplistic to infer that the media is entirely responsible for every case of anorexia. After all it is the public that effectively decides who it considers fit (get the pun?) to watch, read and write about. Would we really aspire to a big big shot, lumpy luminary or plump pop star? The fact that last year?s ?Pop Idol? winner [Michelle McManus], voted for by the public, was
shall we say, ENORMOUS, would suggest the nation doesn?t care either way??..at least ostensibly; in my opinion many of Ms. McManus? ?fans? were actually attempting to prove to themselves their open-mindedness by voting for talent (well?supposedly) over image. Anyone I?ve previously suggested this to has dispu
ted it, yet their response, often along the lines of: ?You shouldn?t be so mean to Michelle just cos she?s fat?, seems to prove rather than contradict my theory. Furthermore if this is NOT the case, then why is it that her size was made a public issue? Surely if Britain really were as liberal as it tries to demonstrate, then there would be no need for the extent of her weight to ever be mentioned when we could instead have been discussing the extent of her talent.
Yet having somewhat excused the influence of celebrities I will confess there are exceptions that, in my mind, deserve no clemency. Those such as Vanessa Feltz who, despite having originally been FAP (fat-and-proud) are now apparently running out, not only of food but also money to put where their mouths are. So they?re producing workout videos and diets to help us drop the pounds (the fat kind) while they pick up the cash kind. Worst still are anorexic stars like Natasha, from Atomic Kitten [pop band]. Now I?m not suggesting that celebrities are the super-heroes they make themselves out to be: an obsession is an obsession no matter who you are so its not poor old Nitty Natty?s fault for failing to combat her illness earlier. BUT if in the eyes of millions of tweenagers (9-12 year-olds) you are better than Wonder Woman herself, then with a waist the size of my finger its not a good idea to deny you have a problem and instead make a music video showing off your famished-figure. Yet though the press have caused huge com
motion over such music videos as TaTu?s ?All the things she said? (which shows two girls in school uniform fondling each other) arguing that it encourages sick, paedophiles to purv on innocent children, no one seems to care that Atomic Kitten?s video encourages those innocent children to make themselves sick.
But its not just those with brains the size of their non-existent stomachs that are provoking us to loose weight. Doctors, including Peter Kopelman (my own uncle
?that?s my claim to fame), have warned the public of ?the weight issue? by revealling shocking findings into Britain?s growing obesity. For example:
About 28% of men and 27% of women aged 16-24 are overweight or obese Compared to thinner children, obese children have a two-fold increase in the risk of becoming overweight adults.
How can we possibly allow children to start life like this, I hear you ask! Well?.very easily is the answer. Given the increase in the number of working mums since the 1950?s it?s hardly surprising that the fastness of fast-food is fast becoming more attractive:
***What should we be doing about Britain?s obesity problem?.without inciting more cases of anorexia****
This is the more important question. It seems there are three options: Firstly, getting families to do more exercise. But lets face it, if you?re not good at something (and I don?t know many overweight people who are amazing at P.E) then it is hard to enjoy it. Of course that?s no excuse for anyone to relinquish physical activity but it does make advocating it a lot harder for the parents and teachers concerned. Baring this in mind it seems there are two solutions: a) schools and youth groups offer a wider range of sports to chose from ?true not all can afford the facilities for drastic changes, but how much can a couple of different types of ball cost? b) We hand over respo
nsibility to the kids themselves; if they want to loose weight badly enough, they?ll do it. All the adults should be doing is regulating the child?s plans to make sure they?re not taken to extremes. If, however, children don?t want to lose the weight, but need to for serious health reasons, THEN Britain has a problem. But personally I don?t know anyone fat or thin, young or old who wouldn?t like to maintain a slim figure.
The other solution is that young people simply eat less, especially when it comes to snacks. Apparently ?breakfast is the most important meal of the day? as it pre
vents us getting hungry before lunch and, apparently, if you eat within an hour of waking, you don?t put on the weight you otherwise would. [There?s a little tip of the day for you] -I don?t quite understand the logic behind it though.
The final remedy for avoiding obesity is sillygooseİ, inspired by one of my favourite ever songs (?Affirmation? by Savage Garden for anyone vaguely interested.) One of the lines is ?I believe that junk food taste so good because its bad for you? so I propose we experiment with this idea by bringing a child up to believe that sweets are healthy, but those delicious looking mushy peas and Brussels-sprouts are the making of the devil himself?dun-dun-dun! Unfortunately my causticity as to whether this would work is rather undermined by my wish not to have a child at the age of 16, especially not one, who by the age of 3 will weigh the same as me should the experiment and reverse psychology go wrong.
When it comes down to it, it seems most of us are worrying unnecessarily anyway; though I hate to sound like a Michelle McManus ?fan?, it really is what?s inside that counts. Obesity should be a concern, yes: Someone who is 40 percent overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as an average-w
eight person. Yet at least, in spite of this there are still FAPs out there who couldn?t care less about a few calories so long as they have a family that loves them. They mightn?t be ideally healthy but they are content. Surely it?s better that they stay this way than committing a long-drawn out suicide before the age of 20 by starving themselves. Having said this though, I do think it?s important that we?re not greedy: I went to Africa a few years ago and met a rather large local man working at the hotel where we were staying. Seeing this I thought to myself ?how can anyone eat that much when there a people starving on his doorstep.? But then I realised (look away now if you hate sentimentality) that those
dying people are just as much his neighbours as they are mine; what difference does a few thousand miles really make? So, my advice is: do be careful and considerate with your food but at the end of the day remember it?s not JUST there to keep us alive but to relish, so??..EAT AND ENJOY