Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating an Issue for Women in America

I ran across this study tonight and I wanted to share it because I feel it is so important that we teach young children, teenage girls, and young adult women how important inner beauty is.

The findings of this study are really quite disturbing to me, as Americans and American culture is so focused on appearance that we forget about inner beauty, intelligence, and true happiness.

SELF magazine and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill cooperated to conduct this study. More than 4,000 women took a survey on-line regarding their thoughts and behaviors toward food. Women participating in the survey were between the ages of 25-45 years.

The researchers found that older women and younger women had about the same occurrence of disordered eating. Likewise, women who identified themselves as Latino, white, black, Hispanic, and Asian all exhibited disordered eating behaviors.

More specifically, the researchers discovered that:
-More than 31% of women who participated in the survey reported they had taken diuretics, diet pills, and/or laxatives, or induced vomiting in order to lose weight at some point during their lives.
-Approximately 50% of those who engaged in purging behaviors reported they did so at least a few times a week.
-Sixty-seven percent of women who did not have actual eating disorders reported they are attempting to lose weight.
-Thirty-seven percent of women said they skip meals regularly in order to lose weight.
-Twenty-seven percent reported they would be extremely upset if they gained five pounds.
-Thirteen percent of participants report they smoke in order to lose weight.
-Twenty-six percent of participants said they have eliminated certain food groups from their diet altogether.
-Fifty-three percent of women who said they are dieting are already at a healthy weight, and are still attempting to lose weight.
-Thirty-nine percent of the women reported that their weight and concerns about what they eat interferes with their happiness.

The results of the study are to appear in the May issue of SELF magazine.

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