Health And Nutrition

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People told me to just eat.” – Lisa, 16 said when she was trying to recover from an eating disorder. Sadly, it’s not that simple. There are many underlying causes that can lead to eating disorders that are important to consider. While eating disorders may begin as obsessions with food and body, they are often about much more than weight. Understanding what lies behind eating disorders can help to understand and assist friends and peers who are struggling with unhealthy eating.

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Whether a crisp apple or a homemade swirl brownie, eating food is a delightful source of pleasure. Food is one of the most important nourishments for our growing bodies. It energizes our bodies with nutrients that keep them strong and healthy.

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Many times, we are confronted with stressful situations.  What do we turn to?  Our loyal friend—food.  For many of us, the accessibility of food allows us to eat anything we want at any point of the day: food is as simple as a click away.  However, many tend to “stress eat” if we are going through a particularly difficult time at school or work, and we often chose greasy, fried, salty, or sweet foods to satiate our hunger.

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A great deal of research on eating disorders and body image focuses on middle and upper class Caucasians living in America or under the Western ideals and influences. Many researchers, however, are realizing that eating disorders are not isolated to this particular group. They are studying gender differences and cross-cultural variation, as well as variation within cultures. Indeed, religion, social coping methods, family life, and socio-economic status all have an impact on the way that eating disorders manifest.

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It can be very hard to confront someone/yourself about an eating problem. Many eating disorder patients express denial and insist that they know what they are doing and do not want help. It will be difficult, but here are some ideas to remember:

 ·  Approach your friend one on one in a private place.

 ·  Talk about what you have observed in a non-confrontational, caring and non-judgmental manner.

 *  Most importantly, direct the person to HELP.

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