Mindset behind eating disorders


Maria Algeria

People with eating disorders may think the scale determines their worth.

Everyday, we see advertisements and social media promoting this idea that being thin is the key for beauty. Influential people on Instagram such as the Kardashian sisters promoting diet suppressant lollipops and other potentially dangerous weight loss products can be examples of this idea in practice. 

Society has created an environment where some people only feel good enough when they create unhealthy eating habits. It might get to the point that they stick a finger down their throat to vomit out their last meal. 

In the United States at least 30 million people have some type of eating disorder, ranging from all ages and genders, according to The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

An anonymous MCHS student was willing to share her own story with her struggles with an eating disorder. She personally dealt with an eating disorder known as anorexia nervosa. This disorder is mainly described as a pursuit of thinness by resisting any intake of food since they view themselves as overweight even when they’re not. 

“Everyone was just like ‘oh my god you’re so skinny now,’ like you lost so much weight you’re beautiful… No one knew what was going on and so I think that messed me up a lot and they were like you’re so beautiful. My only thought was like ‘oh my god, I did it’, they said.” 

People support the idea of skinny is beautiful to the point they don’t seem to notice if it’s done in a healthy manner. As long you’re losing weight you are beautiful. These types of statements only reinforces the idea to people dealing with anorexia that what they are doing is right even if they end up going too far. 

Middle College’s nurse, Katherine Mras, also agrees with the idea that society contributes to the increase of eating disorders over the years due to all of the influential media that people regularly see. Even stating that media typically does not celebrate all the different body types, making it feel like people should just be this one “perfect” body type. 

“With movie stars and a perception of a perfect body versus everyone is different and unique and valuable it’s a lot to do with TV, film, all that stuff that puts it out there,” she said.

Nurse Mras shared a distinctive experience with a middle school girl that had problems with an eating disorder.

“Her mom and the older sisters were overweight and that’s all they talked about. But this girl actually acted on it and didn’t eat. She thought she was doing the best with her food and it’s just you couldn’t change her,” she said.

You also have to consider factors such as the people around them and what they contribute. Influence comes from all of the people around you. You have to be careful about what you say about someone, because sometimes it can really have a lasting effect. 

The anonymous MCHS student stated, “I was so skinny and pale and I looked like I was dead. You know and for that I’m thankful that I don’t look like that anymore. I’m glad I went through that because I learned how to appreciate myself more and I learned how to not hate myself because everyone was hating my body.”