Anorexia in the US

In this article they summarized how eating disorders relate to perfectionism, evaluation and anxiety. Before this research, there has been no research to date that studies the simultaneous effects of all three from the eating disorder. In this study they found that support for social appearance anxiety is linked with eating disorder symptoms and social anxiety. From this study, they really didn’t find any concrete conclusions but they wanted to note that gender and body mass index did play a roll in the results of the model.

The biological factors have the biggest impact on the individual. When it comes to not eating, you’re affecting your metabolism initially and then everything gradually shuts down. One may begin to lose weight initially but the body then learns that it needs to conserve the fat that it has, then having the opposite effect as what the individual initially wanted. In some cases, if the disease worsens, one may continue to lose weight to the point where there is no fat and the body begins to degenerate.

In our society today, I feel that we don’t approach this issue as strongly as we should. Many people suffer from this and it is an incredibly obvious disorder. I feel that today approaching the psychological aspect is the initial step to helping / curing the disorder. After you have conquered someone’s mind and assisted them in appreciated their self worth, then you can assist them in their biological issues. If their disorder’s extent to physiological issues, then physicians should be there to assist in dealing with these issues. Socially, this would be incredibly hard to handle as our culture preaches a small figure. But if someone has been influenced by the disorder so badly that is has affected them biologically, then the only way to assist them would be the biological route which involve doctors.



Levinson, CA. Social appearance anxiety, perfectionism, evaluation. Distinct or shared risk factors disorders?. Accessed July 17, 2013.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Steven Sochacki says:

    Culture, at least according to this course, can be defined as a group of people’s learned patterns of behavior and thought, which can include things like preference of government, what clothing is to be worn, etc. I think that this illness should be considered a culture bound syndrome because, as said in your post, the culture of the United States promotes having a slim figure. This is not the case in certain other countries because having barely any body fat and being anorexic may be linked to poverty, making the person seem of lesser status in the culture. From this, it seems that anorexia is a CBS in the U.S. or in places that have a relatively similar culture to it. The advantage of calling anorexia a CBS is that it is made more easily identifiable in our culture. The disadvantage is that anorexia can occur in a culture that is not ours or even a culture that is not similar to ours, making it harder to define as a CBS.

    As I previously mentioned, a different culture may see anorexia as an indicator of poverty. This would put societal pressure on the person to gain weight, which may stop them from being anorexic. Another culture may see it as a sign of poor health, and this would put a similar societal pressure on the person.

  2. Taylor Young says:

    Hey Molly,

    I believe culture can be found within a community of individuals residing in a particular location. They share similar backgrounds, customs, languages, and ideas. I definitely would consider anorexia a culture-bound syndrome in the United States because although you do find it other places, its far more prominent within the United States. The US preaches and promotes slim figures, tanned bodies, etc. as the most acceptable way to be seen as “beautiful.” Granted there are many different forms of beauty, but anorexia can be directly linked to the US culture. Take for example a third world country. There can be individuals there exhibiting the same symptoms of anorexia but they do not necessarily have it. People diagnosed with anorexia in the US choose not to eat whereas in some third world countries these people do not have that option. They don’t have the direct access to food as some do here in the US. Anorexia, in my opinion, can definitely be classified as a culture-bound syndrome within the United States. I agree with Molly when she says that it’s an issue that isn’t approached as strongly as it should be. Anorexia is an issue that many people struggle with and it deserves to have more attention.

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