• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the various explanations for why there is an increase in the number of men and women suffering from eating disorders.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the various explanations for why there is an increase in the number of men and women suffering from eating disorders. There are a number of eating disorders which many people suffer from, and most people may not even be aware that the way they eat could be classed as an eating disorder. Amongst the many disorders are the four most notable; binge eating, anorexia, bulimia and obesity. Another disorder vastly approaching the media limelight is bigorexia. The Eating Disorders Association defines this condition as "...outward signs of inner emotional or psychological distress or problems." - believing that people cope with the difficulties in their life though food. "Eating, or not eating, is used to help block out painful feelings." There are various other definitions, and many can be summed up with this definition: "A person's perceptions, thoughts and feelings about his or her body." (Fisher 1990) Reasons for the various disorders are varied. They are complex illnesses where both the eating pattern and the psychological aspects need to be considered and treated. Restoring a regular eating pattern plus a balanced diet is needed for balanced nutrition. Some methods of treatment are available which teach patients to look for reasons behind their emotional conflict and seek a better, less harmful, method to help them. Anorexia is a condition whereby the person starves themselves to achieve their ideal body shape. The methods used are drastic, including; massive reduction of their food intake, excessive exercise work outs, regular vomiting to bring up any food they may have eaten and consumption of laxatives to speed up the journey of food through the digestive system. ...read more.

Middle

found that 45% of men where dissatisfied with their bodies. A disaffection previously seen in the past by women. In the UK, Dr Karen Henwood asked a sample of men between 15 - 34 about the socially acceptable 'body ideal'. She confirmed similar disaffection as with those in the USA. As men become more body conscious then we can expect increases of eating disorders. Overweight people are beginning to appear in TV adverts most notably Dawn French with her 'Terry's Chocolate Orange' advert and last years advert by Marks and Spencers to advertise clothing for the fuller figure. Reasons for people suffering an eating disorder are varied, but can be grouped into the three main areas: biological reasons, psychological reasons and sociological reasons. Society is clearly a large influence on our perceptions on what is acceptable. People have favourite actors and actresses and they themselves are under great pressure to be thin and therefore their fans see this image and believe it to be desirable. It can be argued that women suffer more because of the patriarchal control over women to try and control their bodies. Susie Orbach, and feminists, believe that men are to blame for women's eating disorders. Over the past few years, women have expressed their desire to be equal and have rights, which should mean that they are less likely to actually meet these thin expectations from men. However, the magazine 'New Women' has a predominantly female staff and a female editor, but this has not stopped them from portraying shapely women and men on a bed! ...read more.

Conclusion

In defiance of the biological reason for eating disorders some people believe that eating disorders are more prevalent in different classes of society, despite very little research having being done. However, it was found that out of 846 girls from different socio-economic backgrounds, higher levels of weight concern were seen in the groups from the higher class backgrounds (Wardle and Marsland (1990)). This finding was also shown with research by Striegel-Moore in 1986. As a conclusion to this, it is clear that culture plays a large part in influencing eating disorders. In more developed countries (UK and USA) beautiful, stunning and unique men and women parade on catwalks, act on stages and appear in glossy magazines. Because of their uniqueness, their image is more desirable and a small group of people are particularly keen to acquire this uniqueness and adopt an eating disorder. Where as in other areas of the world other cultures have not taken this view and learned to appreciate the larger female form. Whilst women suffer more from various eating disorders we can expect more eating disorders to affect men. This is in part due to more gay men 'coming out' and enjoying their new lifestyle openly and then having to bend to the demands of this way of life and be as desirable as possible to other men. As more sufferers are identified and seek help, the statistics will increase. More research will need to be carried out to better understand the relationship between the classes and why higher class women are more critical of their image. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Healthcare essays

  1. Unit 7 Sociology

    This shows me that Pakistani individuals have reported the most ill health within the different ethnic groups with a big 15%, Chinese people have reported the lowest at only 6% and White British people are a little above the Chinese with 8%.

  2. Physiological Disorders

    Nurse role is to take the blood sample from the patient, send it to appropriate institution e.g. hospital laboratory. Nurse in order to complete her role gives advice on how to maintain healthy-appropriate blood glucose level. The nurse intervention ensures that that the patients blood glucose level was average, this helped to prevent any further complications.

  1. Physiological disorder

    Other substances or chemicals in the cigarettes damage your coronary arteries leading to furies of the arteries. Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a fat that is made by the liver form the fat that we eat in our body. Cholesterol is good for healthy cells but if there is too much in the blood it can lead to coronary heart disease.

  2. Abnormal Psychology - Bipolar Disorder

    With that in mind, research has found that stressful life events can lead to the onset of symptoms in Bipolar Disorder. However, once the Disorder is triggered and progresses, "it seems to develop a life of its own. Once the cycle begins, a psychological or pathophysiological process takes over and ensures that the Disorder will continue".

  1. Critically evaluate research into eating disorders - Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.

    The Cognitive model focus's on the fact that sufferer's of eating disorders tend to have distorted body images, known as Cognitive bias's. In order to assess Anorexic's perception of there own bodyweight and size, they can be exposed to an image distorting technique designed to provide information about their whole body.

  2. Unit 14 - Identifying and treating physiological disorders.

    An exercise tolerance test also known as an exercise stress test indicates whether the individual heart gets enough blood flow and oxygen when it?s working the hardest. The doctor orders the test if an individual has symptoms of heart disease or to test the effectiveness of the treatment their receiving

  1. Unit 14 - Physiological disorders Bipolar project

    Duration of moods: Although responses to severe losses and rejections may last weeks, ADHD mood shifts are usually measured in hours. The mood shifts of bipolar mood disorder must be sustained for at least two weeks.

  2. Purposes and Methods of Research

    The results that have come out may make predictions of whether it is right or wrong to do this research when discovered from the independent variables. These controlled variables or participants may tightly control the environment with the help of other variables or participants.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work