Anorexia in Teens

Executive summary

With the current advancement in the information technology, social values have been easily relayed through the media. As a result, various unhealthy practices have been triggered among the current teenagers, resulting into their development of various disorders. Particularly, anorexia has become a very popular disorder among many teenage girls in the society today in their efforts to develop the best body shape associated with thinness.

As a result, many young ladies have been revealed to exhibit unsafe eating habits, which endanger their health largely. According to the recent research about 1 out of 100 ladies today in US are anorexic in their pursuit for beauty associated with body slimness. More so, it has been revealed how high school girls perceive eating negatively, with about 40% of such girls over-relying on junk foods.

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Though family and peer influences have played significant role in the development of anorexia among many teenagers, the social media has largely been attributed to the current situation. As the media concentrates on beauty advertisements, slimness among the advertisements is brought out as the focal measure of beauty, triggering many teenage girls to initiate unhealthy eating habits with an aim attaining the anticipated body shape.

This research focuses on the impact of the media as the ultimate key player for the development of the dangerous disorder among the contemporary young girls in the society. This study is very significant in the sense that, it will bring into focus the adverse effects associated with poor eating habits, and subsequently facilitate the change of attitude towards eating among teenage girls.

Anorexia in Teens

Background Information

Anorexia is an eating disorder in which individuals tend to consider junk foods as their major part of their diet in fear of excess weight gain. According to Brooks (38), people with anorexia tend to be much obsessed on being thin, since they seek to acquire the best body shape and appearance.

On this basis, anorexia has been a major problem among teenagers, especially girls, who tend to pursue the beauty associated with thinness. It has been revealed that, anorexia is becoming an eminent issue among teenage girls today, since their efforts to attain thin and beautiful body shape triggers them to avoid healthy foods. In America today, about 28% of the young girls are in ceases war against weight gain. On the process of trying to avoid weight gain, many of these teenagers expose themselves to unsafe self-starvation.

In this regard, there has been rising need of public persuasions among the teenagers to guide them on how to avoid such dangerous eating habits. In fact, the media can be associated with the massive development of anorexia conditions among young girls. As revealed by Steele (1), anorexia is largely associated with social practices which necessitate thinness, which is mostly associated with beauty.

As a result, the study of anorexia among teenagers has found its significance in the contemporary society dominated by social interactions through the highly sophisticated information systems, which promotes the urge of young girls of becoming slim.

Research Hypothesis

With the advancement of social media through the internet and the television, many teenage girls have developed the tendency of acquiring beauty through unsafe eating habits. Particularly, many of the contemporary girls at the teenage stage have developed the notion of pursuing slim bodies, since it is largely associated with beauty.

As a result, these teenagers have developed poor eating habits, since their largest proportion of their meals is junk foods. In this regard, the media can be considered as the main cause of the unhealthy and dangerous eating habits among the young girls toady, in their pursuit for beauty (Brandenberg and Andersen 97).

This study aims at establishing the relationship between the media and the rising number of young girls with anorexia. Since the contemporary society considers thinness as being directly proportional to beauty, this study seeks to establish the ultimate relationship between the advancing social media, and the increasing number of anorexia victims in the contemporary society.

More so, this study will establish the other factors contributing to the development of anorexia among teenagers, besides the media. Generally, this study seeks to establish the ultimate impact of the social media to most young girls, triggering them to develop unsafe eating habits in search of beauty (Groshan 1).

As it has been revealed, there chances of the media being the key player to the increasing rates of anorexia cases in the contemporary society. Since the media has become highly sophisticated with the massive advancement of the information technology, many teenagers’ exposure to the media has largely triggered their desire to become more beautiful through body weigh loss by becoming thinner.

As a result, many attributes have been associated with the media, since the number of anorexics in America has been increasing proportionally with the advancement of the information system (Hall 37).

Literature Review

The issue of girls becoming increasingly concerned about their weight has remained an eminent issue in the contemporary society. According to Breen (122), the society today perceives beauty as being extremely thin and having low weight. Particularly, the social media has largely played a central role in influencing many teenage girls to become anorexic. The images being presented in the social media like the internet and the TV are becoming extremely influential to young girls at their adolescence stage.

Though the images being presented are unrealistic and more often unattainable, their impact on young girls’ eating habits has remained remarkable. As revealed by Claude-Pierre (77), 75% of most beauty advertisements seem to revolve around thinness and slimness, which triggers most of the teenage girls to starve themselves by having very poor eating habits to reduce their weight, in search of beauty.

As reported by Tchanturia (42), individuals with anorexia are associated with deficiencies in emotional functions since their body becomes extremely weak due to their poor diets. On this basis, anorexia seems to expose individuals at risk of body complications in cases of conditions adversity. As reported by Fisman (939), many teenagers suffering from anorexia tend to have discrepancy in certain emotional functions, which makes their social relationships unfruitful.

On this basis, the impacts of the anorexic conditions are more complex than just mere starvation. It is important to note that, people with anorexia tend to deny themselves food, even when they feel hungry, in fear of gaining weight and the desire to become slimmer. With reference to Brooks (40), the high rate of anorexia among young girls is an alarming condition, since they are at high risk of body complications at their early age.

Though Steele (1) considers peer pressure as the ultimate cause of anorexia among teenage girls, social trends in the global society can be considered as the aggregate key determinants of the lifestyle. In this regard, the social media is brought out as being the key player for the overall tendency of many young girls wanting to become slim or thin.

Despite being attributed to psychological behaviors, social norms and values have been key determinants of the development of anorexia in the society. Since individuals’ self actualization is largely based on social context, anorexics tend to consider themselves as remarkable in the society by attaining the most treasured shape and size of their body for beauty. As a result, individuals suffering from anorexia have the neurosis of remaining thin always through unhealthy eating habits.

Despite being a personal eating disorder, anorexics have been revealed to have social phobia, in which they fear being in situation of ‘eating’. As revealed by Brandenberg and Andersen (99), anorexics are usually very sensitive to social situations associated with any eating situation, since they perceive their own eating habits as being the best to realize their self actualization.

In this case, anorexia emerges as a very severe condition associated with anti-social behaviors and practices. According to Groshan (1), young girls tend to avoid social gatherings in fear of being exposed to eating practices, and tend to control such stresses by confiding themselves to lonely life. In cases of failure to realize the desired body shape, many anorexics develop depression and subsequently become at risk of committing suicide.

With respect to Hall (45), anorexia is a condition among teenage girls in their efforts to cope with the social phenomena happening in their life. In addition, () considers family environment as very influential in the development of anorexia among young girls. In cases where relatives criticize young girls of becoming over-weight, higher chances of such girls to develop anorexia are high. According to () about 40% of young girls are triggered to starve themselves as a result of negative comments from their relatives on their body weight.

This has been a chronic disorder in their pursuit for beauty, without considering the high mortality rate associated with poor eating habits. Since only 10% of anorexics receive treatment, very high rates of morality associated with anorexia are expected among the young girls in the near future.

As revealed by Steele (1), 85% of anorexics patients develop the habit of unhealthy eating habits at the age of 13-18 years. With 50% of high school girls believing that are overweight, their desire to loose their excess weight develops. It is also important to note that, 90% of high school girls over-rely on the social media for beauty tips. Since the media advocates for beauty by sliming or becoming thin, most of these high school girls end up depriving themselves healthy foods, and end up over-relying on junk foods.

As a result, many of these girls end up developing health complications as a result of poor eating habits. According to Andersen (100), death rates as a result of anorexia are more than 10 times higher than the death rate of the overall causes of death among young ladies of the age of 15-24 years. This is an implication that, anorexia is a very serious eating disorder among the young girls, despite its social benefit of beauty and self esteem and actualization.

According to Steele (1), about 20% of people suffering from anorexia will end up dying at their early age as a result of complications associated with poor eating habits.

On this basis, maintaining body weight is very important and healthy practice, as it facilitates the capacity of the body to endure illnesses and other disease attacks. Since the media has largely played significant role in the development of anorexia among young girls, there has been rising need for the same media to develop strategies to facilitate healthy eating habits among such girls.

Through healthy dieting, early deaths and the adverse impacts associated with anorexia would be minimized, which will enhance posterity of the contemporary teenage population. As a result, many scholars have found the study of eating disorders among the teenagers as quite important, with the aim of identifying the key players for the development of the disorder, and subsequently develop mitigation measures.


The main research methods to be used in this paper are interviews and questionnaires. Since interviews are qualitative study approaches, their use in this study will give detailed information about the ultimate causes and impacts of anorexia among teenagers (Fisman 943).

The interviews will be conducted to medical specialists in both private and public health institutions. Though there are not selected organizations yet, the number of interviewees for this study will be 10, where five will be from public health organizations while the other five will be from the private medical sector.

Notably, the interview schedule will be prepared in order to harmonize the entire research and avoid any bias in terms of data collection. Notably, the main issues to be covered in the interviews are entirely based on the major causes of anorexia among young girls, and subsequently degree at which such victims seek medical advices or treatment, as reflected in the interview schedule shown in appendix 1.

More so, questionnaires will be conducted among young girls aging 13-21 years, preferably schooling girls. Since questionnaires are both qualitative and quantitative, their use in this study will facilitate deeper understanding of the current trends of anorexia with regard to the changing social conditions. In this case, questionnaires will be prepared on the basis of their perception of thinness as a measure of beauty, and their subsequent tendency to eat or eating habits (Hall 71).

Throughout this research all the girls administered with the questionnaires will be assured of the confidentiality of the information given, by having them not to reveal their identities. Since the population involved will be high school girls, permission from the administration will be requested in advance, so as not to incur inconveniences during the time of actual study.

Generally, the main ethical issues to be involved in this research concerning the privacy of the respondents will be a major area of consideration among all the respondents. Particularly, the medical officers will be assured of the confidentiality of the information they give, considering the confidential nature of health care records. More so, the school girls will be required to fill the questionnaires without giving their names. In addition, the results of the population will not be revealed to the public (Tchanturia 59).

This research will be conducted in 10 weeks, where the time schedule is presented in the Gantt chart shown in appendix 3. Gantt chart has been found quite reliable in this study, since it clearly tabulates all the activities clearly and precisely to avoid confusions, as well as to ensure systematic study.

Works Cited

Brandenberg, Bliss and Andersen, Andrew. Unintentional Onset of Anorexia Nervosa. Eating and Weight Disorders. 12.2, (2007): 97-100.

Breen, Hine. The Social Force behind Eating Disorders. Eating and Weight Disorders. 9.2, (2007): 120-127.

Brooks, Sykes and Stahl, Daniel. A systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cognitive Bias to Food Stimuli in People with Disordered Eating Behavior. Clinical Psychology. 31.1, (2010): 37-45.

Claude-Pierre, Peggy. The Secrets of Eating Disorders. London: Longman Publishers, 2007.

Fisman, Shylock. Anorexia Nervosa and Autistic Disorder in Adolescent Girls. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 35.7, (2007): 937- 946.

Groshan, Fabiola. Anorexia as a Topical Issue of Modern Society. March 2, 2008. May 4, 2011.

Hall, Lindsey. Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery. New York: Prentice Hall, 2009.

Steele, Melisa. Anorexia in Teenage Girls: The Inner War of Girl’s with Anorexia. Dec 12, 2008. May 4, 2011.

Steele, Melisa. National Statistics for Anorexia with Anorexia Charts: The Slow Suicide. Dec 10, 2008. May 4, 2011.

Tchanturia, Knorr. Cognitive Perception of Eating Disorders: Anorexia. San Francisco: Wiley and Sons, 2008.


Appendix 1 (Interview Schedule)

Interviewer: Hello

Interviewee: …………………………………………………………………………

Interviewer: How do you perceive the issue of anorexia among your clients?

Interviewee: …………………………………………………………………………….

Interviewer: Throughout your experience in you job, which is the most popular age-group suffering from anorexia?

Interviewee: ………………………………………………………………………………..

Interviewer: What are the most prevalent causes of anorexia in the society?

Interviewee: ……………………………………………………………………………..

Interviewer: What do you suggest should be done to facilitate successful understanding of the adversity of poor eating habits among the people?

Interviewee: ………………………………………………………………………………

Interviewer: Is the current technology influencing the rate at which anorexia cases are increasing?

Interviewee: ……………………………………………………………………………….

Interviewer: Thank you for your time.

Appendix 2 (Questionnaires)

Question 1: Is eating part of your life’s phobia? Yes () No ().

Question 2: Do you often eat much? Yes () No ().

Question 3: Why do you fear eating? (Select the most appropriate choice)

In fear of losing shape
I disliked the way my relatives criticize my previous over-eating habit
I usually don’t have enough appetitive in most cases

Question 4: What has influenced your eating habits most? (Choose only one)

The media like the TV and the Internet
My family members
My peer group members

Question 5: What is your future attitude towards your eating behavior? (Explain in few words)……………………………………………………………………………………..

Appendix 3 (Research Schedule)

Activity1st wk2nd wk3rd wk4th wk5th wk6th wk8th wk9th wk10th wk
Revise literature review and proposal.
Actual data collection from the filed (Collect information personally).
Data Analysis & In-depth research of relevant literature on anorexia among teenagers
Write the draft and deliver to the supervisor and submit the draft to the supervisor


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