Myths about Anorexia

Anorexia is the most common eating disorder worldwide, yet many people have misconceptions about it. This illness is often associated with loss or lack of appetite caused by a negative body image of oneself. Many models suffer from this condition, given the unrealistic demands and expectations of showbiz. The highest number of anorexic people resides in Japan and the mortality rate of this illness is about 10%. Ignoring the symptoms of anorexia leads to delay in treatment, which can be life threatening for the patient. Acknowledge the popular myths to defy false assumptions and save lives:

Myth #1: Anorexic translates to dangerously skinny

The majority of anorexic patients tend to have a bony structure or appear extra thin, so it is natural to assume that only dangerously skinny fit the bill. However, people having a normal body weight or healthy build can be victims too. If someone you know was previously overweight/obese but now looks fine could be anorexic. It is possible that they lost the weight through incessant fasting and purging, which is very harmful for the body.

Myth #2: Anorexia is the result of Starvation

It is believed that anorexic people do not eat, but that is not the case. Individuals suffering from anorexia limit themselves to very low calorie foods or restrictive diets. Their eating habits result in malnutrition, excessive weight loss, and stunted growth, which look like outcomes of starvation. Many patients of anorexia give in to the urge of eating healthy or indulging in rich foods, but they feel guilty after consumption and induce vomiting.

Myth #3: Only women suffer from anorexia

Anorexia is widespread among body conscious women, but it occurs in men too. Men are not immune to social standards of physical appeal and perfection. Many follow unhealthy diet plans to achieve a lean and muscular figure. The controversy and mockery associated with machismo prevents patients from admitting to their condition and seeking treatment.

Myth #4: Anorexia is a lifestyle

Many people are under the impression that anorexia and other eating disorders are a choice. They claim that the so called ‘anorexics’ can quit starving and start eating healthy whenever they want. These people do not realize that the illness is caused by underlying mental issues. Victims of anorexia struggle with food and are endlessly under the fear of gaining weight. They are appalled by their own appearance; what we perceive as slim or skinny looks like fat and ugly to them.

Myth #5: Anorexia is a cry for attention

The media promotes zero size and glamorizes ultra-thin models. Therefore, onlookers assume that the rapid weight gain is an attempt to grab attention. Possessing a lean or slender body is considered an attractive quality, thus it does not seem like a problematic situation.

Myth #6: Exercise prevents death from anorexia

Working out and vigorous physical exercise is ideal for health and fitness goals. However, the theory does not hold true for victims of anorexia. People suffering from the eating disorder lack proper nutrition and energy to engage in strenuous activity. The exertion can be fatal for their physical and mental state, and even result in death.

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