Editorial: Eating disorders about more than weight

Posted: December 5, 2016 in Editorials, Opinion

By Bronte Pappas
Cougar News Blog

     What is an eating disorder? An eating disorder is an array of different types of abnormal eating habits. It is a mental and physical disorder that affects many people’s lives.
     Eating disorders are health issues that can cause people to either lose a lot of weight, or gain too much weight. There are many different types of eating disorders, and many people imagine a person who has one to be very skinny and not eat, however there are three commonly seen types of eating disorders that can affect anybody.
     The three major types of eating disorders are bulimia, anorexia, and binge-eating disorder. Bulimia is typically when someone will eat a large amount of food or binge and then force themselves to vomit. Anorexia is a disorder in which a person chooses to not eat most commonly in fear of getting fat or wishing to be skinny. Binge-eating disorder is when someone eats a lot of food in a short period of time. However, eating disorders are more of a psychological disorder.
     “Quite often eating disorders have a lot more to do with control than being ‘skinny,’ said Meaghan Davis, dean of students. “People who feel they do not have control over other aspects of their lives, unfortunately, try to control their eating to compensate for their feelings of helplessness.”
     Many people deal with eating disorders every day. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men have an eating disorder of some kind. Eating disorders can be life threatening and destroy people’s lives some even as young as 13.
     “My eating disorder started when I got old enough to eat regular food,” said an eighth-grade student who struggles with an eating disorder. “When I was about 5 or 6 my mom realized that I was eating more than I had to. I would tell my mom I was full but I would want more food. I couldn’t stop eating.”
     Often people’s eating disorder ends up affecting them in other ways, too.
     “I had been bullied for being skinny my whole life so I would also eat more than I had to. I have a high metabolism so I don’t gain much weight from what I eat so it was hard,” the same eighth grader said.
     These are disorders that take control of people’s lives, it is something that affects people physically and mentally, causing them to struggle with their everyday lives, and there are some people who do not understand that this is a disorder.      Bullying about weight can cause a person to develop an eating disorder. It is not something you are just able to move on from, it is much harder than people see. We need to be respectful of people that have these problems.

Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Bronte Pappas. It is the third in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.

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