You are what you eat

By on April 10, 2003

Dieting and weight are both large concerns among people, especially young women. Society puts an enormous amount of pressure on women to be thin and beautiful and in some cases, it can become out of control.

More and more people have some form of an eating disorder and can even be unaware of it. Approximately 1 out of every 100 people has an eating disorder, which means that because the freshman class has about 1353 students, about 135 of them have some form of an eating disorder and even more students when you add in sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students.

Just because one is not classified as anorexic or bulimic, they may still exhibit some signs of distorted eating patterns or a future disorder.

Anorexia is classified as a person who weighs 85% less then what they should for their age and height, someone who fears being fat and refuses to eat and maintain a normal, healthy body weight and when women stop menstruating and in men, their levels of sex hormones decreases.

Bulimia is also a fear of gaining weight and people vomit what they eat and use laxatives to control their weight. Many times they binge, eating large amounts of food in a short period of time and vomit it up after. They feel out of control, not being able to stop eating until they are completely satisfied or extremely full. They also fast or exercise constantly and may try diet after diet to control weight.

These and other eating and exercise related diseases are life threatening. Many people with these diseases are depressed and do not want to face growing up and being an adult with more responsibilities. Some illnesses are not diagnosed as eating disorders, but show some typical signs and characteristics. Many disorders are a form of OCD-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and they limit themselves to strict diets and exercise compulsively.

Why are so many young people at risk of these diseases? Why are so many students, especially females, forced to live with the pressure to be thin and perfect? Many of these young women think that if they are tiny and thin, they will be beautiful and have the perfect life.

Some guys at Quinnipiac were overheard saying that many of the girls who attend the university are too thin. One guy said, “She has a really pretty face, but she has no meat one her. She looks sick and unhealthy, how can girls do that to themselves?”

Girls experience too much pressure from the media, peers and society in general and feel the need to starve themselves in order to be thin and happy. Size should not be a measure of someone’s personal happiness, but unfortunately, this is how some girls live. People need to realize that the size pants one wears does not mean anything and people need to stop making it into such a big deal.

Quinnipiac University has a new public health committee that meets every Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Tator Hall 303. This committee will help answer any questions one might have about eating disorders, or any other health questions.

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About Bethany Dionne