Today, anorexia is a rising and dangerous disorder among teenagers. Shockingly, 15% of teenage girls are struggling with an eating disorder in the United States. This is in accordance to the 5 million Americans suffering from eating disorders every year. Those who are anorexic utilize extreme dieting, starvation, and portion control to reach an unrealistic low weight.
Researchers are continuously studying the distorted perception put forth with sewed body image. When an individual is struggling with an eating disorder such as anorexia, they are sheltered from the reality of their physical appearance.
Alarmingly 78% of teenage girls, at age 17, said that they were self-conscience about their body image. Common factors that these girls had were that they were highly influenced by the media, their peers, or had involvement in a sport that stresses weight. This life threatening disorder is most present throughout the teenage years, and is not limited to just teenage girls. Among teenagers 10% of those suffering with anorexia are males.
Serious side-effects of teenage anorexia include:
- Liver, heart, and kidney damage
- Lack of energy
- Poor concentration
- Fainting/ light-headedness
- Poor academic performance
- Loss of hair
- Brittle hair and nails
The most heartbreaking statistic on teenage anorexia is that 5-20% of those suffering from the disorder will die from direct or related causes. When an individual starves themselves from the necessary nutrients, they are opening up the doors for additional health issues. Sadly these individuals do not see their weight as shocking; and for many it will take a professional intervention to help cure this dangerous disease.