The current focus on obesity has generated increased instances of eating disorders. Both eating disorders and obesity present major challenges for the youth. What makes the issue intricate is that the augmented focus on obesity is making children and adolescents fear to become obese. Therefore, they resort to starving themselves, which elicits eating disorders. The issue is somewhat confounding for nutritionists, health professionals, and parents to the extent of even choosing to ignore the topic. Although promoting nutrition among all people, irrespective of their disparity appears to be a commendable practice; it has its potential drawbacks. External pressures, such as too much caution against obesity and overweight may overwhelm teenagers and youth thus make them respond in a manner that disadvantages their health. At times, such caution creates unnecessary fear, anxiety, and behaviors that could encourage eating disorders (Eating disorders, 2017). Digital media, including the internet, social media, and websites present distorted ideals of body image to the public. Recently, an anti-obesity organization, Strong4Life, started a campaign that drew global attention to the stark images of children with obesity published on its website- Strong4Life.com. Critics asserted that the images sought to scare overweight and obese children rather than assisting them.
I know of a teenage girl who has anorexia nervosa, a form of eating disorder typified by food restriction because of fear of becoming overweight. The person has a strong desire to be lean, and although she has an ideal weight, she considers herself overweight. Her condition signifies a serious mental problem. Though the actual cause of the disorder is unknown, health professionals affirm that cultural, genetic, social, and environmental factors could cause anorexia nervosa. For this person, body image has become an emotional and sense of worth aspect. Some of the psychological problems that she suffers from encompass disruption of reasoning and responsive capabilities, insomnia, depression, and alcoholism. The condition has led to poor quality of life for the person and her close family members.
The girl with anorexia nervosa is on psychotherapy treatment. The treatment approach of choice is dealing with the underlying mental concerns, problems that have a great influence on the person’s self-esteem and personality. The psychotherapist’s focus is on assisting the girl to understand proper nutrition and suitable eating behaviors. Personality is also an issue that the psychotherapist is helping her to address since the inaccurate sense of self is devastating to the point that although she is slim, she considers herself to be overweight and has lost self-esteem. Indeed, the success of treatment will necessitate proper handling of psychological issues linked with the illness, particularly the eradication of wrong perceptions, which cause the disorder.
The best way to approach a person who has an unaddressed eating disorder is by privately communicating the issue in a way that is not offensive and figuring out the cause of the problem (Eating disorders, 2017). Discouraging unhealthy eating habits among teenagers and youth is counteractive. The fear of causing eating disorders among adolescents and children should not downplay anti-obesity attempts. Instead, one needs to be mindful of a possibly developing complex condition. To encourage a person with an untreated eating disorder to seek treatment, one should be ready to sacrifice both time and money. Health professionals, nutritionists, and other stakeholders should conduct campaigns to enlighten the public on proper eating habits.
Eating disorders. (2017). Retrieved from https://headtohealth.gov.au/mental-health-difficulties/mental-health-conditions/eating-disorders