Critical thinking

Obesity And Anorexia In Younger Ages: A Common Issue In Western Societies

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Obesity is considered to be the disproportional weight in relation to the height of a person, which is due to excessive consumption of food and consequently fat storage in the tissues of the organism. It has multiple causes and can be an important factor in the occurrence of a disturbance in food intakes, such as psychogenic anorexia and psychogenic bulimia.
Systematic overeating is a key cause of obesity. In addition, the eating habits of the family, lack of physical activity, as well as genetic factors, when any of the two parents is obese and then the likelihood of obesity in the child increases. An important mental factor is the mother’s attitude towards the child, the fact that she feels overprotective for her child is expressed through food. Overfeeding the child is a way to make sure that the child has received proper and adequate care. Some adolescents consume large amounts of food because they feel intense anxiety. For adolescents, obesity is a serious psychosocial problem.
In a period when the appearance of the body plays a critical role in the overall image that the adolescent forms for themselves, obese adolescents face strong comments and criticism from their social environment, resulting in very low self-esteem. Many times they experience contempt from others or even the neglect of others. ​

Psychogenic anorexia and therapeutic treatment
The word anorexia means that someone has no appetite for food. This is untrue in the case of people with psychogenic anorexia. These individuals are very hungry, they would like to eat, they constantly think about food but do not allow themselves to eat because of the distorted image they have of their bodies. They obsessively impose on themselves to lose weight, because they consider themselves obese. They are possessed of intense to furious fear of gaining weight while they may be excessively thin.
Teenage girls experience anorexia ten times more than boys and even more at age 14 to 18. Usually, they are teenage girls whose environment has high demands on them. They are often are severely critical of themselves and their lifestyle may impose strict discipline to an extent that leads them to become obsessive.
An important role in the emergence of psychogenic anorexia in a teenage girl is played by the family environment and the wider social context. When the family displays tension and authoritarianism there is pressure on the young girls. It is usually the mother who is oppressive or absent emotionally. In other cases, siblings monopolize the interest of the parents and the teenagers feel neglected. An abusive environment may also worsen things and disturb the psychological stability of the girl. When individuals have experienced rejection from parents or the wider environment and display very low self-confidence, anorexia appears in their lives. There are cases of people with perfectionism. The environment has high demands on them in their school or sports course and neglects their emotional needs and as a result, they experience rejection.
There are two types of anorexic individuals, and they are separated based on the methods they follow to control their weight. One type is called restrictive because of the intense restriction that the person exerts on themselves by applying a strict to exhausting diet and long hours of exhausting physical exercise. It is characterized by obsessive refusal of food to a point that is dangerous for the survival of the individual. It forms the classic form of anorexia.
The second type includes hyperphagic episodes and followed catharsis. The person initially consumes an excessive amount of food and then they feel guilty for this overeating. This proceeds to laxative behaviors, such as induced vomiting or the use of laxatives and diuretics, to get rid of the food that causes severe discomfort.
Every teenager is different so their treatment should be personalized. They need the help of a specialist and the simultaneous support of the family environment. It is necessary to set immediate and clear objectives and to have a meaningful and analytical discussion to solve all questions about the situation. The early identification of symptoms of nutritional dysfunction is of great importance because the individual can get a more effective intervention and a good prognosis of treatment. Parents and the wider environment can have an important contribution to the identification of the first excessive eating behaviors so as to prevent a chronic disorder, which can bring huge change and consequences to the person’s life.

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Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at anna@ceoworld.biz