Schools Should Help Stop Eating Disorders

June 1, 2017
By arlenee BRONZE, Marlborough, Massachusetts
arlenee BRONZE, Marlborough, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

About 795 million people out of the 8 billion in the world, are malnourished. Meanwhile, there are people starving themselves, or on the contrary, eating too much. Eating disorders are everywhere, and it must be stopped. No more lives should be lost from a disorder that can be prevented. Many young teens find themselves with this deadly disorder which brings us to the conclusion that schools should be doing more to help prevent eating disorders.

Many people, out of their own ignorance believe that eating disorders are a choice, or that they only affect women. This is far from the truth. About 70 million individuals worldwide are suffering from some sort of fatal eating disorder. The sad part is that the majority of those 70 million are young girls. What does this show us? It shows that schools are not doing enough to try to prevent eating disorders, nor are they helping the kids that already have eating disorders get better. Schools should promote an environment that promotes and models healthy behaviors and healthy body image. The schools should also more openly talk about eating disorders with students, and maybe then less kids will result with eating disorders.

Another reason why schools should do more to try to prevent eating disorders is because the media is known to promote eating disorders. The average person is on their phone for up to 4 hours a day, but teenagers are on their phones much longer. The ‘ideal’ body size is reflected in the media, and it can make people, especially young girls insecure. This results in them trying to change the way they look by dieting or exercise, and although that is not bad, this behavior can lead to eating disorders. This is the only danger teens face when they go on social media. ‘Pro Mia’ and ‘Pro Ana’ websites are all over the internet promoting eating disorders as a ‘lifestyle’ and this definitely has a lot to do with why eating disorders are such a bigger issue.

Eating disorders are not funded very well and this is a problem because so many people have eating disorders, and they need help to get better. Eating disorders get approximately 28 million dollars a year for funding and that is 18 times less than funding for alcoholism. More money should be being put into helping people with eating disorders get better, and maybe then there would be less cases of eating disorders.

Contrary to what I believe, many others might think that there is no need for schools to invest their time in talking about eating disorders. Many believe that being anorexic, bulimic, or having any other eating disorder is a lifestyle choice. That people can control what they eat. Although this is true, everyone does have control over how much or how often they eat, it is a different story when it comes to eating disorders. According to Doctor Alexis Conason, “the food choices that patients with anorexia nervosa make may be habitual automatic behaviors rather than true choices.” When one has an eating disorder, the choices they make regarding what they eat, isn't really a choice, on the contrary it's a ”need”. For example, a patient with binge eating disorder said that when they ate it wasn't because they wanted to eat, it was because they felt a need to eat, or they were compelled to do so. Also, the fact that there are so many websites promoting eating disorders and making them seem like a good thing, isn't helping the situation. If schools do not educate children regarding eating disorders, more lives could be lost to this horrible disease.

Do you still think that eating disorders are a choice? That they are not as serious as they’re made to be? Everyday another person is diagnosed with an eating disorder. Anorexia Nervosa has one of the highest overall mortality rates, and highest suicide rate or any other psychiatric disorder. These deadly disorders are a serious issue and they must be taken care of. Where should we start? We should start by educating the population that is affected by it the most, and that is none other than teens. Schools should talk about body image and self love to the students, as well as provide them with someone that they can talk to about this issue. Maybe then eating disorders won’t be taking any more young lives.

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