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花旗国的半边天

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女性盲目“瘦身”易致饮食紊乱 (Wasting Away: The Danger of Eating Disorders)  

2011-11-16 03:28:32|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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女性盲目“瘦身”易致饮食紊乱 (Wasting Away: The Danger of Eating Disorders) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天

 几十年前,饮食紊乱在美国社会比较罕见。但随着美国社会中“外貌协会”日益壮大,越来越多人患上了饮食紊乱这种多由不健康塑身引起的心理疾病。根据美国饮食紊乱协会(NEDA)调查显示,美国目前有1000万女性和100万男性受饮食紊乱的折磨。尽管NEDA等机构已经竭力提高公众认知、设计预防方案,但饮食紊乱依然是死亡率最高的一种心理疾病


Until a few decades ago, eating disorders were relatively uncommon. However, as American culture has become increasingly appearance-obsessed, more and more people have developed eating disorders, a type of mental illness defined by an unhealthy obsession with weight and body image. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), ten million women and one million men in the United States currently suffer from eating disorders. Unfortunately, despite efforts by organizations such as the NEDA to raise awareness and promote preventive measures, more people die from these disorders than any other type of mental illness.

Although each person's experience is different, eating disorders can be grouped into two broad categories: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Both disorders are marked by an extreme fear of weight gain and an unhealthy preoccupation with food intake, but the forms they take are very different. Anorexia is a cycle of self-starvation in which a person attempts to avoid eating even the smallest amount of food. Because the body does not receive sufficient calories to fuel normal functions, it is forced to slow down its normal processes in an attempt to conserve energy. This slow-down has a variety of dangerous and often fatal consequences. Among the most dangerous is an extremely low heart rate, which in extreme cases results in cardiac failure. People with anorexia also suffer from perpetual dehydration, dry hair or hair loss, muscle loss and weakness, and low-bone density. Women, who are the most common sufferers of anorexia, may also lose their menstrual period. If anorexic individuals do not receive treatment, their condition can be ultimately fatal; many people have literally starved themselves to death.


People who suffer from bulimia are prone to binge-and-purge cycles, in which they eat large amounts of food (binge) and then compensate by forcing themselves to vomit (purge). This forcible purging, which is often achieved through laxative abuse, disrupts the entire digestive system and results in a dangerous electrolyte imbalance. This imbalance often causes an irregular heart beat. The frequent vomiting that characterizes bulimia frequently results in inflammation or rupture of the esophagus, tooth decay, and septic ulcers. Like anorexia, bulimia can ultimately result in death if untreated.


Sometimes people are inclined to be dismissive of eating disorders, suggesting that people who suffer from them are merely going through a phase or seeking attention. However, eating disorders are serious mental and emotional conditions that rob individuals of their control over their own eating habits. They have horrific physical and emotional ramifications and need to be taken seriously and treated as early as possible.



To learn more about eating disorders and their treatment, visit: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/index.php


讨论:如果你的朋友患上了饮食紊乱症,你应该如何帮助她? (Discussion Question: How might one help a friend with an eating disorder?)


Sources:

"If you or someone you know is affected by an eating disorder, we can help." National Eating 
     Disorder Association. National Eating Disorder Association, 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. 
     <http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/women-and-girls.php>. 

Image:
Michiel1972 at nl.wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

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