CAUSES OF ANOREXIA NERVOSAIN ADOLESCENT POPULATION IN THE U.S INTRODUCTIONInthis modern world where one’s physical appearance is considered as the mostattractive thing about someone it is of no miracle that society today issuffering from eating disorders. There exists today a specific standard ofbeauty that considers mainly fat people “ugly”. Most of the people mainly theadolescents always try to maintain this standard of beauty sometimes even goingto extreme measures to do so.This extreme measures often include refusal to eatto the point of death. This disorder is called Anorexia Nervosa.
” Anorexianervosa is an eating disorder in which a person intentionally limits the intakeof food or beverage because of a strong drive for thinness and an intense fearof gaining weight. This can happen even if a person is already thin. 1 “Thistopic is of most relevance today as more and more people are falling victim tothis disorder. More research is needed to find out the exact causes of thisdisorder hence and hence to find a specific remedy to tackle this ever-growingcase of Anorexia nervosa and associated health problems.
The main focus of thisresearch is the adolescent population because of all the age groups it seemsthat this particular age group is the most vulnerable to anorexia nervosa.Mainly because adolescents are constantly exposed to the beauty standard ofsociety mainly through films, film stars who have given out a wrongfulperception that if you are not thin, you are not considered up to the beauty standards.The adolescent populations especially the girls fall prey to the anorexia nervosaalthough many boys are also affected by this. Research Question1What are the causes of the Anorexia Nervosa in the adolescent population in theU.S? METHODOLOGYVariousdatabases such as PubMed, Google scholar, ScienceDirect were used to identifythe relevant articles for this research. Initial search using the keywords “anorexia nervosa” “adolescent” resulted in around Ten thousand results and exclusion criteriawas introduced to narrow down the results.From the narrowed down topics Inclusion criteria was used to find the articlesmore specific and meeting the criteria for requirement for the purpose of thisresearch.
Inclusion criteria were based on population as the focus of thisresearch is on adolescent age group (11-20 age). Other inclusion criteria suchas region, research methods were used to narrow down the articles furthermore.After going through the remaining ten articles, five of them (all from the U.
S)were selected because they met the quality criteria and were included in thisresearch. FINDINGSObsessionsabout one’s body image and weight will eventually lead to tedious eatingroutine which will have devastating effects on both the mind and body and morealarmingly in severe cases even resulting in death. It is common for peoplewith anorexia nervosa to make food for people but they never ever eat it.Anorexianervosa affects not only the one suffering from but his friends, peer and mostimportantly his family. The reluctance of the affected individual to have foodto the point of starvation will have severe psychological distress on the family.
In the last 20 years there has been a steady increase in cases related toanorexia nervosa. What is significant about this increase in the cases is thatmajority of the cases are associated with in the age group of 11-20. Approximately90 percent are women between 12 and 20 years of age 2.Anorexia nervosa is predominant among teenagers in upper and middle class.
Most of the teenagersassociated with this disorder have similar body language. They are mostlywithdrawn, perfectionistic, extremely hardworking and always strive to reach the maximum output in whateveractivity they indulge in.Many of these teenagers have a low self-esteem abouttheir body image. This may be a result of body shaming my fellow peers or evenfamily. Affected individuals are always trying to lose their weight throughvery rigorous dieting methods although their weight is completely normal andhealthy.
When they lose their weight they will have a false perception ofcontrol over their life and will be more confident. But this confidence andmisconception comes with a price; their health. Since adolescence is the agewhere the body needs more intake of food anorexia nervosa affected teens willhave severe health complications when they reach adulthood. Over the course oftime these habits in turn will lead to other problems such an anxiety anddepression.
“Psychologists or therapists help children with eating disorderscope with negative behaviors, distorted thinking patterns and any underlyingissues that may have triggered the condition.” 3 CONCLUSIONAnorexia nervosa is caused by avariety of factors in adolescents. “These factors are sometimes divided intopredisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors that make a personvulnerable to develop, trigger the onset, and maintain the eating disorder,respectively” 1.
In majority of the cases this disorder starts as a diet method or as part of a healthy lifestylebut sooner or later it develops into extreme fatal weight loss. “Social attitudestoward body image, family influences, genetics, and neurochemical anddevelopmental factors may contribute to the development and maintenance ofanorexia nervosa”1,3,4.A person whose has a family history of anxiety,bipolar disorder or depression is predisposed to anorexia nervosa and manyother eating disorders. Recent studies have shown that the brain function ofthe people with anorexia nervosa is different than that of a normal brain.
Although a person may be obese it doesn’t mean that he will never ever bediagnosed with anorexia nervosa. This is more important in cases of obesechildren and teenagers. Their obesity itself will be a primary factor in thecause of anorexia nervosa itself as they will be bullied in school or collegeabout their body.Hence parents of children with obesity should never overridethe chances of their children developing anorexia nervosa. They will lose theirself-esteem and will develop a negative body image forcing them to often skipmeals to lose weight and often this will eventually lead to anorexia nervosa.The period of adolescence is of one of the most confusing period in one’s life.The physical and mental transformation is too overwhelming for some of the teenagers, this convoluted with a feeling ofself-consciousness, low self-esteem about one’s own body are all key factorswhich lead to Anorexia nervosa in them.
In the adolescence the teenagers areconstantly under pressure to find their place in this hostile world and theytry their best to live up to societies standard and therefore succumbing toanorexia nervosa 5.Most of the time affected adolescents come from familiesextreme levels of stress. Adolescents involved in Sports which areassociated with the level of leanness suchas ballet dancing, skating and gymnastics have a higher incidence of developinganorexia nervosa and a lion’s share of them are adolescent girls. Over the duecourse of time many adolescents eventually end up using this anorexia nervosaas a coping mechanism to create a misconception that they are in control oftheir life after they face difficulties and failures in their life, academicsor any other personal issues. When this attempt for control goes too far thechances of anorexia nervosa causing serious health concerns in the patient increases.
It can be concluded that the anorexia nervosa in adolescents is caused by many Psychological,social, personal and even genetic factors. Additionally peer pressure and bodyimage anxiety are extremely maximized during adolescence and are probable riskfactors in developing Anorexia Nervosa.