BY: Tina Terry

Do Not Be Ashamed, You Are Not Alone...

Many men and women just like you go through periods in their life when they become concerned about their weight. In college, weight concerns might become even more profound because you may be struggling to find time to work out, eat right, and take care of yourself. In addition, you may be facing stressors that you have not previously experienced, and may resort to unhealthy eating habits in order to cope with these stressors. At times, many men and women feel so overwhelmed by their concerns for their weight that they go to extremes to lose weight or maintain a certain weight or size. In these instances, it is possible to develop an eating disorder. Eating disorders are serious mental and physical health issues and need to be taken very seriously. If you are worried that you or someone you know is developing, or has developed an eating disorder, please consider the following information carefully.

( Devdas, N. M.A.(2014)

Causes Of Anorexia Norversa

There is no real definite answer to the specific cause to Anorexia Nervosa, however according to Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD. studies suggest that a genetic (inherited) component may play a more significant role in determining a person's susceptibility to anorexia, and the gene located at chromosome 1p seems to be involved in determining a person's susceptibility to anorexia nervosa. Other evidence had pinpointed a dysfunction in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus (which regulates certain metabolic processes), as contributing to the development of anorexia. Other studies have suggested that imbalances in neurotransmitter (brain chemicals involved in signaling and regulatory processes) levels in the brain may occur in people suffering from anorexia.
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Signs of Anorexia Disorder

  • Weight-loss of more than 25% or more without a medical reason for the loss.

  • Extreme fear of weight gain

  • Restriction of food and extreme tracking of calorie intakeExcessive and strictly controlled exercising (more than is necessary to maintain good health)

  • Denial of hunger

  • Unusual eating habits – cutting food into little pieces, chewing slowly and excessively

  • Loss of menstrual period

Statistics of Anorexia Disorder

Media, Perception, Dieting:

• 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years.3
• 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.5
• The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females.3
• 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.12
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.13
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).

According to a study done by colleagues at the American Journal of Psychiatry (2009), crude mortality rates were:

• 4% for anorexia nervosa


The good news is that despite all the medical problems that can develop due to anorexia, many of them can be cured by fixing the underlying eating disorder and gaining weight. A team approach is often needed, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, an endocrinologist, and other health professionals. Knowing about the dangers of eating disorders is important because preventing anorexia will prevent so many other problems. EmPower yourself with knowledge because knowledge is power!!

Myths About Anorexia

Myth: Recovery from eating disorders is rare

Fact: Recovery, though challenging, is absolutely possible. Recovery can take months or years, but with treatment, many people do eventually recover and go on to live a life free from their eating disorder.

Myth: Eating Disorders are a result of over controlling parents and dysfunctional families

Fact: In the past, parents were often blamed for an individual’s eating disorder but new research and conventional wisdom have helped to dispel this myth. Families affected by eating disorders are very diverse. We now know that between 50-80% of a person’s risk for developing an eating disorder is due to genetic factors. We also know that parents and families can play an integral role in helping a loved one recover. For this reason family therapy is a primary therapeutic modality used for adolescents and is also strongly encouraged for adults.

Myth: Eating Disorders are a lifestyle choice; someone can choose to stop having an eating disorder.

Fact: Eating disorders are serious illnesses with mental and physical consequences that often involve a great deal of suffering. Someone can make the choice to pursue recovery, but the act of recovery itself is a lot of hard work and involves more than simply deciding to not act on symptoms. In most cases, the eating disorder has become a person’s primary way of coping with intense emotions and difficult life events. In order to heal from the eating disorder, a person needs appropriate treatment and support regarding medical monitoring, nutritional rehabilitation as well as learning and practicing healthier ways to manage stress.

(The Center for eating disorders at Sheppard Pratt, 2014).


ANAD (2014) Eating disorder statistics. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from:

Devdas, N. MA. (2014). Eating disorder pamphlet. Texas Tech University. Retrieved September 14, 2014


NEDA Feeling hope. (2008). Statistics on males ad eating disorders. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from:

Schulman, R. MD. (n.d.) Anorexia Nervosa: An endocrine problem. Empower. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from:

Sheppard Health System (2014). Facts & myths. The center for eating disorder at Sheppard Pratt. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from:

Dryden-Edwards, R. MD. (2014). What causes anorexia nervosa? Medicine Net. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from: