Obesity Versus Eating Disorder Essay

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Eating Disorders

According to Himmel (2009), "We could save a lot of pain, suffering and money by incorporating obesity into the range of illnesses now classified as eating disorders, and focusing on prevention" Obesity related issues are frequently classified separately from eating disorders, but there is more overlap than many people believe. When a person diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia, the traditionally recognized eating disorders, enter treatment with a professional counselor or psychologist, a Twelve Step program called Overeaters Anonymous is sometimes recommended. The Twelve Step program Overeaters Anonymous was not started to help people with anorexia and bulimia, and yet it has come to serve these populations as well, suggesting that what Himmel (2009) says is correct. Eating disorders encompass a range of disordered eating behaviors. Individual differences ensure that there are no two people who practice an eating disorder for the same reasons. By the same token, obesity can be caused by similar underlying psychological variables as anorexia and bulimia. Eating disorders and obesity do share some features in common when there is an underlying psychological dysfunction. However, there are cases in which obesity is not caused by a psychological dysfunction. In those cases, obesity can be distinguished from eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Generally, though, there are enough similar underlying factors including genetics, behavior, and risk factors to warrant similar treatment interventions for eating disorders and obesity. Eating disorders and obesity are more similar than they are different.
Obesity is related to overeating, binge eating, lack of exercise, and a possible genetic component. These factors usually lead to the person becoming severely overweight. Treatment interventions range from surgery to therapy and the Twelve Step Program. These factors related to obesity can be compared and contrasted with similar factors related to eating disorders. Overeating is a common component of some eating disorders such as bulimia and bulemorexia. Bulemorexia is a combination of behaviors associated with anorexia and bulimia. The individual may occasionally binge eat, only to engage in a period of starvation that follows. Self-starvation also occurs among the obese population. Obese people sometimes go on fad diets, or starve themselves for long periods of time in the same way an anorexic person might. Just because the obese person is fat, and the anorexic, bulimic, or bulemarexic is not fat, should not cloud the fact that there are similar issues at stake. In general, however, anorexia usually lacks a binge eating component and obesity usually has only a bing eating component without the purging cycle that bulimia has. Furthermore, exercise is a point of comparison. Not all people with bulimia or anorexia exercise, but many do. Those that do might exercise compulsively. Obesity is often associated with a lack of exercise, which differentiates it from eating disorders. At the same time, a total….....

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