To Your Health
April, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 04)
The Power of Positive Thinking
By Editorial Staff
Eating disorders affect almost 5 percent of all young American women. Surprisingly, the first-ever national survey on eating disorders - conducted by Harvard researchers, with findings released earlier this year - reported that binge eating is more prevalent than anorexia and bulimia combined. Binge eating occurs when people undergo frequent, uncontrolled eating binges without purging. It reportedly affects 3.5 percent of women, compared to anorexia (1 percent) and bulimia (1.5 percent). While anorexia sufferers and bulimics both exhibit excessive preoccupation with food and weight control, anorectics focus on weight loss and avoid food, while bulimics focus on weight control, binging and then purging to eliminate the food.
With rates of all eating disorders on the rise, researchers and health experts are seeking to educate the public about the seriousness of binge eating, and the potential causes and treatments of these diseases. Experts believe eating disorders are closely associated with social issues and a negative self-image. A recent study of 242 college students found that concern over outward appearance is uniquely predictive of an eating disorder, even compared to low self-esteem, neuroticism or insecure attachment styles.
Reports indicate the best cure for a negative self-image is positive, self-affirming thoughts, reminders of your personal strengths, and close relationships with a social support network. So be kind to yourself and nurture the positive relationships in your life. You deserve it.