If eating disorders are not diagnosed or treated in time, they can seriously damage your health.
Many people lack body confidence and how society defines “beauty” plays a big part in this. Traditional beauty standards can often be confusing. Whether you are short, tall, obese, thin or suffer from acne, society will find something to criticize. This makes many people feel insecure about their bodies and can lead to people developing eating disorders.
Cases of eating disorders are more common in women
According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are more common in women than in men.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess over what they eat and their weight. Anorexia is characterized by a distorted sense of body image, with an unwarranted fear of appearing overweight. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include trying to maintain a lower than normal weight through starvation or too much exercise.
Bulimia nervosa is a condition in which people eat a large amount of food in a short time and then use means to eliminate it from the body by vomiting or using laxatives. They may also rely on excessive exercise as a coping mechanism.
Why are women more likely to develop eating disorders?
We spoke to Dr. Rohini Patil, MBBS, Nutritionist and Founder of Nutracy Lifestyleto better understand why women face such problems more often than men.
According to her, women are more vulnerable to societal pressures and constant comments about their weight than men. This is the reason why they are likely to have a more negative view of their own body.
The objectification and sexualization of women and gender stereotyping can also lead to these mental health disorders in women, including eating disorders.
Thus, this susceptibility to body dysphoria becomes an important underlying factor driving the higher rates of eating disorders in women.
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Women are held to unrealistic beauty standards
The majority of women suffer from body dysphoria because they are constantly reminded that they have to look perfect. Often, family, loved ones, and friends begin to comment, crack jokes, and express concern about what will happen to them if they don’t adhere to these arbitrary beauty standards. This pressure can perpetuate body image or eating problems. This leads women to think and worry about perceived flaws in their appearance, which can cause dysmorphia. Dysmorphic disorder is a mental illness that involves an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance.
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