Studies have found that not just youth and women are affected by eating disorders every year. EatingDisorderHope.com says that 10 million women and 1 million men suffer from an eating disorder daily. Also, 4 out of 10 people know someone with an eating disorder.
Statistics for Women
- .9% of women struggle with anorexia in their lifetime
- 1.5 struggle with bulimia in their lifetime
- 3.5% struggle with binge eating.
Statistics for Men
- .3% of men struggle with anorexia
- .5% struggle with bulimia
- 2% of men struggle with binge eating disorder
These may not be startling statistics, but there is more.
Over 50% of teen girls and 33% of teen boys use restrictive measures to lose weight. 46% of 9-11 year olds are on “off and on” diets. 91% of college women attempt to control their weight through dieting, at 22% dieted often or always. 35% of normal dieters progressed to pathological dieting with 20-25% progressing to partial or full syndrome eating disorders.
As a society, we are very weight conscious- despite media efforts to try to counterbalance negative self-image. Ads showing a variety of women with varying “shapes” will not solve this issue, nor is this issue confined solely to women.
The issue with eating disorders is not what people think- in part. Partly, it is due to not being satisfied with your body shape/characteristics, and the other part is about control and the desire for perfection. Many people that suffer from eating disorders strive to be perfect- in all areas. Anything less than is unacceptable. Sometimes, it can also be an inward self-loathing which is equally as destructive.
While ads showing women with different body types are better, they don’t necessarily attack the core of the issue, because it’s not fully focused on outward appearances. It is an inward struggle that really, only God can solve.
Charlaine Martin goes in depth on this topic in our November issue to discuss the root of perfectionism and control in the individual. She will give insight into how to tackle it, and how to dispel those demons who distort body image, and who keep you in bondage so that you cannot see how truly beautiful you are.
Please share with someone who needs to know how precious they are, and how God sees them. 3-4% of people die from eating disorders each year. No family needs to endure another preventable fatality.
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