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Obesity and Eating Disorders

Updated on December 2, 2016

Body Composition

Body composition, according to (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012, P. 313) it “refers to the relative proportions of fat and lean tissue that make up the body, affects the risks associated with excess body weight”. Excess body weight or body fat can increase your risk for health issues. It is recommended that the body fat of an adult female should be between 21 and 32 percent of their total body weight. For adult males, a healthy level of body fat is between 8 and 19 percent of their total body weight. Diet and exercise are the two main things that people do to keep their body fat percentage under control.

Obesity Epidemic

The obesity epidemic in the United States is out of control and we have no one to blame but ourselves. No matter where we turn we see the advertisements for that food that is oh so good, yet it is oh so bad for you. Everywhere you go it is pushed down your throat, the mall, airport, bus stations, sporting events, convenience stores, grocery stores, and even schools. Most places offer nothing but foods that are high in fat, sugar, and sodium. Another factor that plays a big role in the obesity epidemic in this country is the lack of exercise. It is becoming more popular, but not enough adults get out and exercising. The same goes for children, with advancements in technology, instead of getting outside and playing, children are sitting in front of the computer or television playing games or talking to friends. These are factors that influence the obesity epidemic and if they go unchallenged, health issues will get worse and many will lose their lives unnecessarily.

Eating Disorders

With the obesity epidemic comes eating disorders, some people see a problem and then overcompensate to fix that problem. Some people who think that they are overweight will starve themselves in order to lose weight; this is known as anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is also a disorder where people who think that they are overweight will resort to to try and lose weight. According to (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012, P. 338), bulimia nervosa is “and eating disorder characterized by the consumption of a large amount of food at one time (binge eating) followed by purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting to prevent weight gain”. Binge eating is another disorder where people binge eat without the purging behavior. These eating disorders can cause many health related issues, health risks for anorexia nervosa can be a reduction of bone density, muscle loss and weakness, fatigue, dry hair and skin or hair loss, and low blood pressure. Health risks related to Bulimia nervosa are electrolyte imbalance, gastric rupture, inflammation or rupture of esophagus, tooth decay, and peptic ulcers and pancreatitis. Health risks associated with binge eating are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and gallbladder disease. Eating disorders have a huge impact on the body and how it functions.

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As mentioned above, issues such as heart disease, muscle loss, diabetes, and gallbladder disease are health risks associated with these eating disorders and obesity; the body can only take so much abuse before it will start to shut down. If these eating disorders are not treated, eventually it can lead to the death of the person. Obesity and eating disorders are growing problems in the United States and we should be doing everything we can to stop them. Education is vital to attack this epidemic; schools need to do a better job of educating our young on the cause and effect of eating disorders and obesity.


Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. (2012). Visualizing Nutrition: Everyday choices (2th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.


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