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Society’s Influence on Young Girls: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

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Every generation has a set of values that they believe make a person beautiful. In the 1940’s and 50’s it was considered beautiful to be a voluptuous woman. A woman with a large chest and full hips was the ideal woman, such as Marylyn Monroe. The difference between then and now is, young women could escape this image if need be. Today it is impossible to ignore the stick thin super models on bill boards, TV, and in magazines. The influence of society on teenagers is so much that men actually expect a woman to be that stick thin model or they are considered “fat”, “tubby”, etc. The average fashion model is 5'9" to 6' tall. The average American woman is 5' 4" tall. The average fashion model weighs 110-118 pounds. The average American woman weighs 142 pounds. One study showed that 44% of middle school girls who frequently read articles about dieting were twice as likely to try fasting and dieting and were three times more likely to try self-induced vomiting than girls who didn't read the articles. (Recovery and Support Network, 2008) I believe it is these influences of society that are leading to more and more young girls being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
You may be saying to yourself, “I have heard of those, but what exactly are they?” Well the terms anorexia and bulimia are often confused with each other. Though they are both eating disorders, they are different, and if someone has one they do not necessarily have both. It is also a common misconception that if someone is extremely thin, they have one of these disorders, which is not necessarily true. To be able to see the signs of these disorders you must first understand them.
Anorexia Nervosa is when a person refuses to sustain a healthy body weight,...


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...vosa. 2011. 13 April 2011 .
Melinda Smith, M.A., Sarah Kovatch, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Anorexia Nervosa. January 2011. 11 April 2011 .
National Eating Disorders Screening Program Newsletter. Facts on Bulimia Nervosa. 28 January 2002. 12 April 2011 .
Recovery System and Support Network. Bulimia Statistics. 2008. 13 April 2011 .
Rimes, Leann. Skinny vs Curvy. 17 March 2011. 12 April 2011 .
Westwind Eating Disorder Recovery Center. Anorexia Statistics. 2011. 13 April 2011 .



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