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Anorexia Nervosa In America girls are given the message at a very young age that in order to be happy and successful they must be thin Given the value which society places on being thin it is not surprising that eating disorders are on the increase Every time you walk into a store you are surrounded by the images of emaciated models that appear on the covers of fashion magazines Thousands of teenage girls are starving themselves daily in an effort to attain what the fashion industry considers to be the ideal figure The average model weighs 23 less than the average woman Maintaining a weight 20 below your expected body weight fits the criteria for the emotional eating disorder known as anorexia Most models according to medical standards fit into the category of being anorexic Thompson Colleen Anorexia has been known and recognized by doctors for at least 300 years Most researchers agree that the number of patients with this life threatening disease is increasing at an alarming rate The Rice Counseling Center defines 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 In accordance with information given by the Counseling Center at the University of Lawson 2 Virginia the development of this disease generally begins at the age of 11 or 18 Significantly these ages coincide with new phases of a girls life the commencement and ending of adolescence Recent estimates suggest that out of every 200 American girls between this age span one will develop anorexia to some degree The disease develops over a period of time during which the sufferer changes her eating patterns from normal or near normal to a very restricted diet SCARED Website This process can take anywhere from months to years Clinically an anorexic is diagnosed by having a body weight 20 below the expected body weight
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