Eating disorders : Negative attitude to food. We all have that cousin who would rather chat then eat during extended family dinners. Or it could just be an aunt who every member of the family complains is just underweight because she never eats more than two slices of bread for breakfast. But of course, you also know that sibling or friend who can’t go an hour without stuffing their mouth full of food. Love of food is something but attitude towards food is another. An individual might like food but their association with food won’t go beyond talking about food recipes,cooking and talking about what type of food they would like to eat. Such a person might barely eat even after showing so much enthusiasm about food. This is common amongst females and it sometimes looks like they feel talking about food just satisfies their hunger. Eating disorders,although often undiagnosed are numerous and rampart in modern society. Let’s face it, apart from genetics, the leading cause of obesity is excessive or recreational eating. The bad part is nobody is over snacking on fruits or salad and these people aren’t even hungry most of the time. It’s actually not unheard of for an individual to crave food even after having a full meal that has left them literally incapacitated. Negative eating habits is psychological so most people with an eating disorder do not even realize that their attitude towards food is off unless they are thoroughly and carefully made to understand the consequences and implications of their actions. In this light, this article will be examining eating disorders, the various types of eating disorders, the causes of eating disorders and treatment for fully diagnosed eating disorders. Eating disorders are psychological problems characterized by unexplainable abstainance or sheer over indulgence in food. It is psychological because it is more of a mental condition than a physical condition. What makes it worse is the fact that the individual’s normal cognitive sense barely sees it as wrong or see it as a means to an end. An end which is usually not sensible if given a second thought. The first on the list of eating disorders is Bulimia which is medically termed as Bulimia Nervosa. It is characterized by excessive and recurrent periods of overeating followed by employment of desperate measures to void what has been ingested usually due to fear of gaining weight. The keyword is reccurent meaning the individual isn’t expected to always eat a lot. The person might eat moderately on daily basis but at some point in time, they would over eat and then seek a fast means of getting rid of what they consumed. The individual is usually underweight with a misconception about what it means to be overweight. There are two ways by which people with bulimia void ingested food. The purgative and non purgative method. In the purgative method, they employ drugs, such as laxatives and diuretics to cause bowel movement so they can shed the food they ate. The non purgative method involves the use of excessive physical activities such as jogging and exercises to prevent themselves from adding weight. So, if you see any of your siblings jogging unprecedented,question them. Another form of bulimia called Diabulimia is found in diabetics who deliberately manipulate the level of insulin in their body to control their body weight to what favours them. This is usually dangerous to health as manipulation of insulin level without knowledge of how it works can lead to various complications like hypoglycemic shock. Anorexia Nervosa is another eating disorder. It is characterized by the individual poking at food without eating it. There is deliberate starvation of own self because of the fear of becoming overweight. The individual is usually dangerously underweight with an abnormal notion of normal body weight and size. These set of people usually have low self esteem when it comes to discussions concerning their body weight and are quick to react to people talking about their body size.A common disorder which usually leads to obesity is that Binge eating disorder. This is characterized by recurring binge eating for weeks or up to a month with general lack of control over eating. Unlike bulimia, these set of people do not try to purge what they have eaten or show concern about adding weight. They are usually the ones who claim to be addicted to food. Othorexia Nervosa describes an individual being obsessed with taking health diet to the extent that it begins to cause harmful effects to the body. Selective eating disorder occurs in individuals who eat food only based on how it takes like. Some might prefer eating bitter food, some sweet. Basically, they don’t eat if the food doesn’t fall in their food preference and some might over eat if their preference is met. A very interesting disorder which is more of genetic than psychological is the Prader Willi syndrome. It occurs in children who inherit paternal chromosome with micro deletion on the long arm of the fifteenth chromosome. They are usually over weight with non distended testicles. Children with prayer Willi tend to eat to death at the age of twelve. Causes of Eating disorders. Depression is one of the more subtle reasons behind the development of an eating disorder. The depressed person is not in a state condition and will not be bothered by something so trivia as loss or gain of weight due to abstainance from food or over eating as the case may be. They are most likely to develop long time eating disorders. Irregular hormone functions could cause an individual to develop an uneven pattern of food intake. Thyroid hormone imbalance causes mood swings, depression and a couple other complications that might affect the individual’s eating pattern. Nutritional deficiencies is usually the cause in the case of othorexia nervosa where the individual is so concerned with making up for their malnourished condition they become selective of what they eat to the extent where it becomes detrimental to their health. Negative body image,Poor self-esteem and society attaching excessive value some specific body types. An individual who doesn’t see his/herself as the best they could be, irrespective of what they look like twins to belong to category of people that develop eating disorders. Poor self esteem might lead an individual to try and make their body size close to that of the group or clique that piques their interests. Also, social media is often accused for attaching excess values to celebrities or artists who have naturally good looking bodies and this could make individuals who aren’t close to them in body proportions try so desperately to mimic their body image. It’s not unheard of for fans to perform plastic surgery in order to look like a favourite celebrity and neither is it rare to see people going on harsh diet plans or abject starvation in order to mimic their favorite artist or celebrity’s body dimensions. Some professions and careers promote being thin maintaining a trimmed body and weight loss to enhance performance , such as modeling,acting of certain movie characters,long distance running. Shedding and gaining of weight is very common amongst artists who go through excessive dietary and exercise regimen in order to make their body fit for the role they are to play.Family and childhood traumas contribute much to development of eating disorders. Sexually abused kids do tend to grow into adults that have a negative eating habit. Cultural and/or peer pressure among friends and family as a child could make the individual starve themselves or over eat just to make their body into what such families or society dictates as the best body size. Identifying individuals with serious eating disorders is quite easy because there are clear cut observable signs to indicate that the individual is having problems with food. The symptoms accrued to people with one or more forms of eating disorders are; Long term dieting even when the individual is visibly underweight. This is either due to the individual’s psychological fear of gaining weight or the societal value attached to being slim. It could also be due to genetics where every member of the individual’s family is overweight or obese and the individual tries excessively not to gain weight to the extent where excess weight is lost and they still do not leave their dieting plan. Constant weight fluctuations is observed. It is very common amongst OK best weight lifters who use medication to enhance muscle tissue growth and this tends to prevent them from having a stable size. Binge eaters tend to gain weightduting their periods of excessive eating and at periods where they do not partake in over eating, some lose the weight that has been gained. Bulimia nervosa causes loss of weight via loss of body fluid and electrolytes. There is an obsession over high carbohydrate and fat contents of food through excessive junk eating or the likes. This usually has adverse effect on the body as this particular food pattern has many hazardous consequences which includes obesity and the likes. Ritualistic eating patterns such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and/or hiding food is rampart amongst people with eating disorder. Usually,they already have a low self esteem and it would be further crushed by people telling them that they way they eat is abnormal or odd. Cutting of food into chunks or pieces gives them something to preoccupy themselves with instead of actually eating the food. An ironic aspect of eating disorders is the over fixation with food, recipes, or cooking. The individual may cook exotic meals for others but do not partakein eating almost unconsciously. They tend to be the ones who are over enthusiastic about food and cooking buy when it comes to eating, that’s another story entirely. They also tend to avoid social functions, family, and friends. This is because society won’t normally approve of their habits and people who tend to try and correct them do so, often harshly. Therefore, they may become isolated and withdrawn from social life. This may also lead to depression and lethargic state if depression wasn’t the initial cause of the disorder. Their is a tendency to switch between periods of overeating and fasting which is either a conscious or unconscious effort to control weight. At times the individual feel like they have gained weight and start fasting, other times it’s the opposite and there is over indulgence in food and dietary supplements. Eating disorders are often not diagnosed and may cause many I’ll to the person with the disorder, people around them and the society at large. People tend to think under eating and over eating are normal but that isn’t correct. Moderate eating of healthy and balanced diet should be advised and binge eating shouldn’t be tolerated,even in kids because one’s childhood tends to tell us how our adulthood will be. The treatments for most forms of eating disorders are discussed in the following paragraphs. Treatment for an Eating Disorder requires comprehensive and professional treatment from people specializing in eating disorders . It is often fundamental in establishing healing and recovery from the adverse effects of an eating disorder. Treatment plans are sometimes deviced in addressing the change in eating pattern for someone who only developed an eating disorder. Usually, the help of medical doctors, nutritionists, and therapists are required for complete care.Nutrition: An individual who develops an eating disorder should be given and healthy diet which will revitalize the body,burn excess calories or regain lost fluid and electrolytes. Also, moderate eating should be advised to prevent the recovering person from getting another eating disorder from over indulgence in the new dietary plan. Therapy: Most people do not believe in therapy but different forms of psychotherapy, such as individual, family, or group, can be helpful in addressing the underlying causes of eating disorders. Therapy is an important piece of treatment because it helps the recovering individual in recovery to openly express their problems, feelings and emotions which they might have been trying to make go away by over or under indulgence in food. Therapy also helps to treat the depression which may likely have been the cause of the disorder and this helps to teach effective coping strategies that do not have any adverse effects on the body,lewding to the individual having a healthier, happier life with healthy relationships.Medications: Antidepressants and some other forms of medications can help reduce binge eating and some other eating disorders. Placebo pills can also be administered for underweight people who believe eating will only add to their total body weight. Altogether,all these treatments can only work if the individual is in the right mind and willing to change for the better. It is therefore apparent that people around them try their very best to avoid showing negativity towards people’s body weight or size and there shouldn’t be emphasis on specificbosy dimensions as being unique because different body sizes are actually appropriate for varying ages and races.