Thursday, May 10, 2012

Open Your Eyes to Eating Disorders, They Are Far More Common Than You Know

   We as homeschoolers think that we have a pretty good handle on what our children are exposed to. If we limit their exposure to certain things, then they are less likely to experience issues such as drugs, premarital sex and even eating disorders. Well I hate to tell all of you but if your children go to the supermarket with you then they are subjected to all of it. Maybe not so much drugs, but sex and  images of young extremely thin provocatively dressed girls & women alike. Mostly from the magazines that you can't help but at least glance at while in the checkout line. Not to mention the larger then life Billboard ads or advertisements in stores. Even clothing itself seems to be more geared to thin girls. If you allow your children to watch T.V. (yes we do) then they are really in trouble. Everywhere we turn we are told, to be beautiful we must be thin.
  The problem is with us mothers, or parents in general, we don't want our children to have a problem, esp. one taboo as an eating disorder. So we have a young girl, or boy, who feels they are a little over weight. Or even just trying to look like the girls on T.V. We may encourage them to exercise or skip desert, never starve themselves or make themselves sick. Only, all to often it can get out of control and when this young sweet tender child sees that whatever method of weight loss they are using, they can take it to far.  And don't think the teen who has never lied in their life can't turn into a master. Now please do not think I am trying to say that we shouldn't encourage our children to be healthy. I know, at times we all should skip desert and we certainly all should exercise. However all in moderation. We as parents need to keep our eyes wide open and watch very carefully if our child is entering into a weight loss program. We should be monitoring their weight loss, and making sure they are doing so in a healthy manor, and not taking it to far. Regardless of how prideful we are, whether we want to admit it or not, our children can suffer from this extremely dangerous, yet easy to fall prey to Mental Disorder.
  Here are some staggering statistics and I am sure that they are actually grossly under what the reality of how bad this problem truly is.

  • It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men
  • One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia
  • Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia
  • Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.)
  • An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males
    • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
    • A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover
    • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.
    • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems
    • Only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment
    • About 80% of the girls/women who have accessed care for their eating disorders do not get the intensity of treatment they need to stay in recovery –they are often sent home weeks earlier than the recommended stay
    • Treatment of an eating disorder in the US ranges from $500 per day to $2,000 per day. The average cost for a month of inpatient treatment is $30,000. It is estimated that individuals with eating disorders need anywhere from 3 – 6 months of inpatient care. Health insurance companies for several reasons do not typically cover the cost of treating eating disorders
    • The cost of outpatient treatment, including therapy and medical monitoring, can extend to $100,000 or more
    • Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
    • 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
    • 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight
    • 80% of 13-year-old's have attempted to lose weight
    • Rates of minorities with eating disorders are similar to those of white women
    • 74% of American Indian girls reported dieting and purging with diet pills
    • Essence magazine, in 1994, reported that 53.5% of their respondents, African-American females were at risk of an eating disorder
    • Eating disorders are one of the most common psychological problems facing young women in Japan.
                 Taken from DMH (Department of Mental Health)

    I don't know about you, but those numbers scare me. Please Mothers, Please Fathers, please do not think that eating disorders are something that won't come into your home, because its not. It can strike anywhere anytime and anyone. Please keep your eyes open, and don't be naive. Don't be afraid to snoop, to push and to be in your child's business, because if not, it may just cost you something you thought you weren't willing to loose.
      other than the DMH statistics this is all my opinions. I am not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. I just know this has had personal repercussions in my life and those I love, I want and we all need to be more aware.


    1. Great post I had to share.

      I haven't stopped by in a while, I wanted to drop by and let you know we shared your site on our latest (1st) installment of Share the Love. You can check it out here.

    2. Wow, those numbers are staggering! It is so sad how we are just surounded by these images of bodies that are just not realistic at all. Although I have never suffered with an eating disorder I have always had a very low self body image. I am a bit on the unusual end of things in that I am very thin and do not gain weight easily. Growing up I was always underweight and picked on and teased and I internalized it. It has always stuck with me and I have struggled with being comforable with my skinny and very small chested LOL self. It's not what the world says is beautiful and attractive. The world says beauty is large breasts and perfect, tight toned bodies. Even though my husband can tell me he thinks I'm beautiful I really can't feel it and believe it because in my mind I'm so skinny and unattactive to myself. It has gotten easier as I've aged and don't worry quite as much what others think but it's still there some. When I was in grade school I had a good friend who suffered from bulimia. I often think of her and wonder how she is now. It was so difficult for her. It is a very scary thing and you are right something we need to be VERY aware of!! Thanks for sharing that with us all. I think a whole lot more needs to be done to change the way things are presented in society to our children. They are getting such a warped sense of what is realistic and important. It's everywhere!

    3. Have a great week. Greetings from Romania.

    4. This is such a hard issue for me. I agree there is a huge problem with advertising and the social expectations to be a perfect size..whatever that is. At the same time my kids are less active than I was as a kid. I do get concerned about them not getting enough exercise. With technology at our finger tips it has become a different world. It can be tricky to find the balance of encouraging a healthy lifestyle without over focusing on weight. I don't want to send the wrong message without realizing it. :)

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