Three out of Four American women have disordered eating, survey suggests

According to a new survey undertaken by Self Magazine in association with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and carried on 4,023 women, it was found that 65 percent of American women in the age group of 25 to 45 have disorder relating to eating behaviors. Other 10 percent women were found having symptoms related to anorexia, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. According to Cynthia R. Bulik, Ph.D., William and Jeanne Jordan Professor of Eating Disorders in the UNC School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program, “we were surprised to find in our survey high number of women engaging themselves in unhealthy purging activities. These women do not belong to only one group but they belonged to different ethnic backgrounds like Hispanic or Latina, black or African American, white and Asian who were reported to engage in unhealthy eating behaviors. It was proved in the survey that 31 percent of women agreed to the fact that after gaining substantial weight, they attempted to lose their weight by having laxatives, diuretics or diet pills”. Bulik added, about 50 percent of the women in survey found to be engaged in purging activities at least once in a week and other women did so every day.

The survey found 67 percent women try to lose their weight in some way or the other method, 37 percent skip their meals in an effort to lose weight, 27 percent women feel unhappy if they find they have gained the weight, 26 percent women cut out the entire food groups from their diet, around 16 percent women dieted on 1,000 calories a day or fewer, 13 percent women smoke in an endeavor to lose weight and 12 percent women eat when they are not hungry. Bulik said activities like eliminating carbohydrates, extreme dieting and skipping meals are related to disordered eating habits.

As far as Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is concerned various individuals who have this condition eat excessive amounts due to two reasons: firstly those individuals who have been on dieting for some time start eating abruptly after feeling hungry. Secondly sometimes individuals over-eat so as to give comfort to them. Binge in fact could be described as an attempt where persons soothe themselves emotionally. People who engage in binge-eating are often embarrassed and ashamed and are heavier people than their counterparts. Symptoms related to binge eating disorder include eating quickly and in secrecy, unable to stop eating, eating large amount of food in one sitting, feeling uncomfortable after eating, feeling of guiltiness of their binges. Often people who binge eats are obese people and one in five obese people engage in this habit.

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4 Responses to Three out of Four American women have disordered eating, survey suggests

  1. Jessie December 1, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Every detail explained in this article is painfully truthful. Who are we to blame, people? I blame the social media and internet. Why? Ask yourselves and look around your Facebook timeline or Twitter feeds and probably you’ll know what I am saying. Fat shaming is everywhere! I blame this for one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety amongst women. How cannot we not be too conscious on what we are eating and/or what we wear when people always judge or embarrass us. How can we decrease the number of anorexic or bulimic teenagers when they are peer pressured? It’s time to accept and love ourselves for who and what we are.

  2. Mary jane February 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    “Weight is one of the major problems faced by people nowadays. Most of us look at people who have weight issues as someone who might be sick. Practically, this is not true for me, due to lots of influence of modern media, social media or even peer pressure our idea of being healthy is visualized to have a perfect body. This is not a disorder, it’s also our social obligation to accept how we are and how we look. What I can suggest for people who experience this is to do physical activities more often to start a healthier lifestyle. Improvement starts literally with I. So for us to be healthier, we should start helping ourselves first and cut down the every extra kilo.

  3. Louisa February 4, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

    I think that the insanely high standards of society for women’s figure is a huge contributor for these eating disorders. Sounds like a feminist comment but it is true. I have done the exact same methods done by the women in the survey, as in all of it, when I was in my 20s. Even my mother was a huge factor why I tried losing weight. Luckily, I got wiser. I realized that bad eating behaviors will just contribute to a bigger problem so I just stopped listening to these people who keeps on putting me down just because of my weight. I kept away from them and changed my lifestyle. Healthy is the way to go.

  4. liezel February 5, 2015 at 5:39 am #

    This is a very informative blog! I wasn’t aware of this when I had the Binge Eating Disorder 6 years ago. I didn’t know that it was caused by abrupting after feeling hungry and over-eating because it gives comfort. For my part, it was because of emotional comfort. I gained a lot of weight after my child was born and it was my first time to really feel insecure with my own body. I didn’t seek any help from a psychiatrist since I feel really shameful about it but I am lucky to have a very supportive husband who really took care of me. That worked for me and I hope that the the people experiencing this would find relief when they are being supported by the people that are important to them.

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