Social Causes of Anorexia

Social causes of anorexia are contributing to the disease and worsening its effects on teenagers. Anorexia is a devastating disease involving self-starvation that can lead to serious consequences, including death. Unfortunately, anorexia has become an almost glamorous disorder to have, something which actresses and models seem to constantly be dealing with. Because of this, anorexia is now seen as socially acceptable, and can sometimes be a source of competition among friends. 

While most experts agree that the causes of anorexia are more complex than just peer pressure, it is known that those susceptible to the disease are especially vulnerable when they are around others who have it. Girls whose mothers or sister suffer from anorexia (either in the present or past) are more likely to develop anorexia themselves. This may be because of a genetic disposition to the disorder or environmental factors. Likewise, girls whose friends have anorexia are also more likely to become anorexic themselves.

Anorexia rates are high among some you people involved in sports and activities like running, dancing and gymnastics. When you combine the pressure to be thin with the competitive natures of these sports, girls on the brink of anorexia are often persuaded by peer pressure to fall over the precipice. Anorexia itself can become a source of competition, leading friends and teammates to compete to see who can lose the most weight, who can eat the least amount of food, etc. 

It can be impossible to keep your kids from spending time with their friends or teammates, but sometimes it is necessary. If your child has anorexia and is surrounded by others with anorexia, try to remove her from that environment. If you cannot completely keep her away from those who may be influencing her in a negative way, at least limit the amount of time she spends with them, especially outside of school. Also be aware of other places she may be receiving pro anorexia information, such as websites and networking sites (like Facebook and Myspace). Professional help should always be sought for somebody suffering from an eating disorder such as anorexia, as people cannot recover from it on their own.

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