by Bianca M '11 by Jessi H '11

What You Don’t Eat Can Kill You!

“Here Taylor, have a bite of my sandwich.”
“…No thanks, I’ll pass.”
Nicole shoved the sandwich in her face, tempting her with the turkey and cheese.
“How about these cookies?”
“I said no thank you already,” Taylor said, her response full of attitude and irritation.
“What’s wrong with you? I haven’t seen you eating in forever.”
“I’m not hungry anymore. You know? I’ve trained myself not to eat until dinner time. And plus, lately I’ve been having really big dinners.” Taylor told her concerned friends with a proud smirk on her face.
“You say that like its normal,” Nicole shot back.
Unfortunately, this is more normal than it should be. Many females suffer from disordered eating without realizing  that they have a problem. Disordered eating “is a complex compulsion to eat, or not eat, in a way which disturbs physical and mental health. The person is overly obsessed with the consumption of what they see as the ‘right’ foods for them, to the point that their nutrition and quality of life suffers,” says Wikipedia.
There are key signs to look out for that may show you or someone you know has disordered eating: eating in secret, skipping meals, ignoring certain food groups (fats, carrbohydrates, etc.), not eating enough, or eating too much. Food should not be the center of a person’s life. Worrying about what you put in your mouth all the time will not have the benefits you hoped for. Instead you will end up feeling depressed, wanting to withdraw from social activity, becoming disgusted while eating, blocking out the truth and possibly gaining weight.
“The 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Study found that over 4% of students nationwide had taken laxatives, diet pills or had vomited either to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight.” Many girls will go to even this far length to keep their weight down. Anorexia and bulimia have become very well known, but eating disorders, which can be deathly [!!!] as well, are not as well known.
Your loved one; best friend, sibling, or parent may be suffering
from this fatal disease. As soon as you pick up on the signs or symptoms
listed above it is important to get them help as soon as possible. Eating
disorders can be cured. As long as you understand what is going on with
your body and the mistakes you are making, along with how you can correct
So what can you do to help? Sit your loved one down.
Be honest with them and yourself. Denying the problems that have already
been diagnosed will get you no where. Make sure that the ‘patient’
understands that skipping meals will not help them get to their desired
weight. Everyone eats. There is no reason for anyone to be embarrassed or shy about the amount of food consumed and the particular time when it
is eaten, as long as the habits you follow are healthy and consistent. Binge
eating, which means starving yourself and then, in one meal eating extra large portions to satisfy your built-up hunger, is not healthy. Make sure the ‘patient’ sees a medical physician. Understand that if you have this disorder you are not alone; millions of people are suffering from the same problem. Do not wait or be afraid to take action. You can also take comfort in remembering that and that everyone has their insecurities. The difference is that some have learned how to control them and look past them.
All body types are beautiful in their own ways. As much as teens refuse to accept the fact that beauty is not only on the face of a magazine it is true. You gain nothing from disordered eating and hurting yourself and your loved ones simply because you feel “fat that
day” is absolutely absurd.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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