Brief Overview of Eating Disorders

Molly Miller
Ms. Datisman
Senior Culminating Project
I-search paper
Eating Up the Media Propaganda
Essential Question: How can my understanding of eating disorders help those afflicted?
Eat the food. Don't eat the food. Eat the food. Don't eat the food. A battle in my brain. I sit at the kitchen table with my sandwich. No one is home to see me cut it into half inch squares. I move them around my plate with the knife. Half a ham sandwich. I am about to enter the eating contest of my life.
After struggling with a mild case of anorexia nervosa in my early high school years, I formed an interest in eating disorders. Many studies have been done on the importance of physical health and being thin is all over the media. Being over-weight isn't good. Ways to stay skinny. Lose 50lbs in three easy steps. What people don't focus on is the danger of being too skinny. Worldwide there are magazines, newspapers, and other forms of media that show girls that are unnaturally skinny. The influence the media has on young people is phenomenal. When I asked Elijah Hauff his thoughts on the media in terms of its impact on people he said, “I think that they feed the need to be thin. They make you want to be the most thin and most ripped person so you can get a good looking partner or whatever else. They make you feel horrible about yourself.” Despite the huge impact the media has on young adults, there are many companies that photo-shop their models into looking much thinner than they are. Seeing those thin women sets an ideal for the public that is way out of proportion. Although Americans are progressively becoming more obese, the ideal for girls is progressively becoming thinner.
Using my favorite on-line tool, I found that an eating disorder is “any of various disorders, as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, characterized by severe disturbances in eating habits” ( As there are so many differing varieties of eating disorders with differing severities, it can be hard...