Eating Disorders have become an increasing reality among today’s youth. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “approximately one out of every 100 adolescent girls develops anorexia.. .another two to five out of every 100 young women develop bulimia nervosa” (Understanding Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders, 2005, p. 6). Although eating disorders are usually seen as affecting girls, studies have shown that hundreds of thousands of boys experience eating disorders as well (Boys and Eating Disorders, 2004). Factors that make anorexia and bulimia painful, such as intense fear of weight gain and lack of self-esteem, cannot be overstated. An anorexic’s personality type usually includes perfectionist, obsessive compulsive, socially withdrawn, and depressive behaviors. Behaviors of bulimics typically include poor impulse control, depression, and anxiety. Other behaviors associated with bulimia are sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, self-mutilation, and suicide (American Family Physician, 2001). “Eating disorders need to be taken seriously because they are potentially life-threatening conditions that affect an individual’s physical, conditional, and behavioral growth and development, and they may lead to premature death” (Bardick et ah, 2004, p. 1). Society and media play a huge role in the impossible dream of having the perfect body.

Author's Biographies

Dana Livingston and Lori Sammons are both enrolled in the Masters of Education in School Counseling program at Columbus State University.

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