Bulimia and anorexia
Nowadays people, especially teenagers, are obsessed with having the “perfect” body basedon the beauty standards that the communication means and TV shows keep promoting. This situation has caused an increase of websites, forums and other Internet spaces that promote not only extreme diets to lose weight but also the use of drugs such as laxatives and diuretic pills.
As it happens with pornographic sites, these pages are easy and fast to access and target underage kids as their desired objective for the incorrect and malicious information these pages provide.
Most teenagers model their identification parameters after what they see in media. And what we see nowadays in television, entertainment magazines and the Internet, is the image of sickly thin girls as role models for sensuality and beauty.
This situation only modifies the concept that people have of nutrition. Teenagers, especially, try to keep an extreme thin figure in order to be able to use clothes that will allow them to look “as good” as those models.
Teens get involved in very risky behaviors, which might even have deathly consequences, like anorexia and bulimia.
Anorexia is nervous psychiatric illness. It is an eating disorder that causes other different medical problems. Anorexia is a serious and potentially mortal disease.
The American Psychiatric Academy has established the following diagnostic criteria:
- Refusal to maintain a normal body weight or a body weight heavier than the minimal weight considered appropriate of their age and height.
- Distorted self-perception regarding weight and body image. Placing an undue emphasis on weight and shape in a self-evaluation or denying the seriousness of their own weight after weight loss.
On the other hand, nervous bulimia, as anorexia, is a psychiatric disease diagnosed as:
- A recurring and inappropriatebehavior which tries to prevent weight gain with self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives and diuretics, fasting or excessive exercising.
- The self-evaluation places undue emphasis on body weight.
Nowadays the Internet is full of pages and forums which promote eating disorders. In these digital spaces you can find instructions manual to “lose weight without telling your parents” or without a medical approval.
These websites are characterized by showing ambiguous data and content which end up favoring anorexia and bulimia. Several “tricks” to overcome hunger, methods to cheat parents or legal guardians during meals, or instructions on self-harm as a form of rapid weight loss, are just some examples of the things published in those pages.