Did you know that of all mental illnesses, “Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate?” Unfortunately, this is a true statement. What’s more, of people who have eating disorders, “10 to 20 percent eventually die from complications.” Our post located at http://www.disabilityliving.ca/disability-canada-statistics-eating-disorders-canada/ features more eating disorder-related statistics in Canada.
Why are eating disorders common?
A certain amount of responsibility lies on the media. The media constantly barrages us with images of the “perfect” body. And this distortion doesn’t just attack women; often, men become victims too. These unrealistic, unspoken expectations set forth by the media create fertile soil in which the seeds of disordered eating can grow.
All images aside, the media portrays diets as a normal, healthy part of life. As a result, “70 percent of women and 35 percent of men” are on a diet at this very moment. Diets also cultivate a lifestyle of disordered eating.
Additionally, various types of abuse and atmospheres in which a person was raised can increase suceptibility to eating disorders. Why? Because abuse can create emotional problems that people attempt to fix with food. And if someone was raised in an atmosphere in which people routinely overate, the chances are great that that person will follow suit.
How can a person tell if they have an eating disorder?
While only a health professionals can diagnose an eating disorder, there are warning signs we can look for in ourselves. For example, “When someone has an eating disorder, their weight is the prime focus of their life.” This implies that eating disorders cause an obsession with food, body image, exercise, and calories.
Are you fully preoccupied with what you’re eating, when you’re exercising, what you weigh day-to-day, or the amount of calories you are consuming? Does weight and food claim the majority of your thoughts? If so, consider speaking to a health care professional about your struggles.
If you are concerned you may have an eating disorder, be sure to follow Disability Living’s blog posts this week.
The posts are designed to educate you, reassure you, and help you get the treatment you need. If you need immediate help with an eating disorder, please visit the Canadian Mental Health Association at http://www.cmha.ca/about-cmha/contact-us/#.T7e-qs12mPU. You can also reach the National Eating Disorder Information Centre by calling 1-866-NEDIC-20 (1-866-633-4220).
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
Did you know that among mental illnesses, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate? What is your reaction to this?
How much responsibility do you personally place on the media for eating disorders caused by exposure to unrealistic images and expectations?