Food is an essential part of our lives, so much so that we don’t pay a second thought to it. Our bodies themselves give us reminders to eat by signaling us through growling stomachs. And it’s not just a means of survival anymore; it is an indulgence and an experience for some of us. Some people travel all over the world to experience a wide variety of food but for those of us on a budget and time restraint, we just need to tap on our smartphones and we can have anything we are in the mood for delivered to us within an hour or less.
While all of us have routine meal times and prefer specific types of food, there are some of us who have problems with regular eating habits. Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder in which people see themselves as fat despite the fact that they are severely underweight.
This is not the typical view of a person who seems to think that they have put on weight and need to do something about it. People who develop the disorder generally have a skewed perception of their own image and believe themselves to be overweight. They go to the extreme of restricting and avoiding food. This includes acts like skipping meals and calculating the caloric intake ingested in a day. They usually have a fixed number they want to stick to and when they think they have overdone it, they resort to other measures live induced vomiting and vigorous exercise routines. They tend to repeatedly measure themselves on a weighing scale several times a day to keep a check on whether they are “overweight” and do what is necessary to combat it. Over time, they start to lose weight drastically but are still not satisfied with it as they perceive themselves as “fat” no matter what the weighing scale shows.
This disorder is most prevalent in teenage girls and young women. They believe in an ideal body type and set rigid rules in the hope that they will attain the perfect image if they follow their rules. However, this image is not a healthy one and can lead to physiological complications due to the lack of food. A common idea held by people battling the disorder is that they seem to believe their food intake is the only thing they can have complete control over and the thought of that comforts them. Although the physical problems cause discomfort, they do not want to let go of the control they have on the one thing in their life. Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most dangerous mental illnesses as it has a direct impact on physical health to the extent of being life-threatening and resulting in death.
In addition to this, the current portrayal of women in the media influences people and makes them aspire to be like the people they look up to. The portrayal in the media makes them believe they need to look a certain way to be accepted and admired in the society, and that they will only achieve things and be of value when they look like those who are seemingly successful.