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In American society women are given the message starting from a very young age that in order to be successful and happy they must be thin Eating disorders are on the rise it is not surprising given the value which society places on being thin Television and magazine advertising that show the image of glamorous and thin model are everywhere Thousands of teenage girls are starving themselves daily in an effort to attain what the fashion industry considers to be the ideal figure An average female model weighs 23 less than the recommended weight for a woman Maintaining a weight 20 below your expected body weight fits the criteria for the emotional eating disorder known as anorexia Pirke Ploog 1984 According to medical weight standards most models fit into the category of being anorexic Garfinkle Garner 1990 Physicians now believe that anorexia has existed for at least 300 years Pirke Ploog 1984 It was however only about one hundred years ago that Professor Ernest Lasegue of the University of Paris finally identified anorexia as an illness Pirke Ploog 1984 The term anorexia nervosa literally means nervous lose of appetite Most researchers and physicians agree that the number of patients with this life threatening disease is increasing at an alarming rate Garfinkle Garner define anorexia as an emotional disorder characterized by an intense fear of becoming obese lack of self-esteem and distorted body image which results in self-induced starvation 1990 The development of this disease generally peaks between the age of 14 to 18 but can occur later in life and is not uncommon to see it in women in to their early 40s Recent estimates suggest that 1 of American girls between this age span will develop anorexia to some degree Garfinkle Garner 1990 It has also propagated in many college campuses and it is spreading Studies have shown that nearly 20 of college women may suffer
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