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Normalization of Eating Disorders in Society


From “I'm skipping lunch because I am going out tonight” to “This will make me fat,” eating disorders are by far one of the most normalized mental illnesses in society. For years both men and women have been told over and over that they must restrict themselves to eating food with less nutritional value and as time went by, it has become our new normal.


Eating disorders are one of the top five common mental illnesses and during this pandemic the rates have gone up by 80%. Although mental illness isn't one's fault, for eating disorders, things people say can definitely help them spiral into behaviors. One of the most horrifying parts is that since the behaviors and symptoms are so common and looked over, lots of sufferers are invalidated and doctors refuse to treat them for multiple reasons including stigmas that say all patients must be underweight. The behaviors are so normalized that the public even sees them as something everyone should strive for.


If you have ever spent a holiday dinner with your family you have probably heard at least one of them bring up morality with food. Or hear them say that they didn't eat all day to “save up” calories for the night. And your family probably didn't even worry for them, they probably just agreed or said something along the lines of, “Wow, you have so much willpower!” These exact moments are what causes young children to start growing anxious around their bodies and choices of food at such a young age, and it sets them up for disordered eating in their adulthood.


Eating disorders are deadly and are just as valid as any other mental illness. The last thing we need is to encourage the behaviors and ignore the severity of the consequences which can include brain damage and vital organs shutting down. The best thing we can do is to find a more neutral approach to discussing food and our bodies.


29 comments

29 Comments


Nowadays, people have grown accustomed to making negative comments about a person's body or eating habits. We have been taught by society that there is a certain "standard" to how we should look. However, this is an unhealthy way of thinking because this causes us to be self conscious about our self and create bad habits, that in the end may damage our future self. Just like how the article implies we need to be careful about what we say because we don't know the affects it could have.

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Khamiyah Anderson
Khamiyah Anderson
Oct 06, 2021

Crystal, I agree with everything you've said concerning normalizing eating disorders. We overlook the small comments that hold a lot of value to a person because of this normalization. Adding to what you've said, normalizing eating disorders is driven from the beauty standards in society. Such standards that tell men and women what makes them and their bodies beautiful or not. Such standards that cause people to make dramatic changes to their diets, which could soon lead to severe eating disorders. Personally, I love food. So, I eat what I want, and I encourage others to eat what they want. There should be no guilt in the foods you eat. Everyone's bodies are different, therefore their needs are different.

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Valeria Contreras
Valeria Contreras
Oct 06, 2021

I agree with this 100% because I feel like eating disorders do not get enough attention at all when it should . An eating disorder should be as important as any other illness.

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Melanie Rom
Melanie Rom
Oct 06, 2021

I completely agree, eating disorders are incredibly looked over. Many believe that you have to be super skinny or underweight to be considered having an ED. Eating disorders can present itself in many different ways with people that have all kinds of body types.

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Yanelly Aguilar
Yanelly Aguilar
Oct 06, 2021

I Agree with this due to the topic being a sad because of how many people have this illness and have no one to ask for help in which it is good how this topic is being talked about to everyone and given situations that make you feel down with the appearance of this illness.

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