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Example research essay topic: Al 2000 P Anorexia And Bulimia - 1,345 words

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... nd to control or advice on their calories intake, thus their children become obese. When parents are around, they usually encourage their children to finish off all the food on their plates even though the children are already full is in fact encouraging them to ignore internal cues to eating. Obese adolescents may overeat as they rely on such external cues and disregarding internal cues to stop.

Another reason could also be environmental. Print advertisements and TV commercials encourages people to eat tasty but fattening food. For example, Macdonalds are even introducing 24 hours home delivery and staying open 24 hours for certain outlets. Thus it is no surprise to find that an increasing number of children and adolescents are becoming overweight as they can always order food from fast food restaurants. Heredity may play a part in juvenile obesity too.

Genes may influence obesity by helping to determine a persons activity level. (Kail et al, 2000, p. 281) Some adolescents are genetically more prone to being inactive thus that makes it more difficult for them to burn off calories and it is easier for them to gain weight. Psychological factors such as boredom, sadness or anger might influence eating habits too. Some adolescents overindulge in eating and food as a way of dealing with stress, pressures from school or depression. Obese children are often unpopular and have low self esteem.

They often dislike physical games during physical education classes, subject to name callings by their peers, have very few friends and are at risk for many health problems like high blood pressure and diabetics. Schools in Singapore try to deal with obesity in children by having the TAF (Trim and Fit) club program in Primary and Secondary schools. Its aims are to educate students on the need to lead a physically active and healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and regular exercise. The obese children and adolescents are asked to come back to school for an hour once a week and they are usually engaged in some games and physical exercise during that hour. This is a compulsory program to help them lose weigh through exercising. By having a healthy weight and eating habit, adolescents will start to have higher self esteem, less chances of suffering from depression, have more friends and have a better outlook at life.

Eating disorders- Anorexia nervosa Anorexia nervosa is a psychological and emotional disorder characterized by severely abnormal eating patterns, an obsession with food and weight plus a relentless pursuit of excessive thinness. (Seifert et al, 2000, p. 353) Currently as Singapore is growing in terms of our economy and industrialization's, we are fast becoming westernized in many aspects. With the adolescents being exposed to western cultures like equating beauty with thinness, more adolescents are pursuing thinness relentlessly. In many of our local magazines and TV advertisements, slimming commercials are everywhere and many beautiful and slim celebrities are endorsing these advertisements since the last decade or so. Their before and after pictures are shown side by side in those ads and teenagers begin to have the idea that being slim or thin is the in thing now. The typical Singaporean patient suffering from anorexia nervosa is a single, female, teenage student.

However according to studies, 53 % of females and 28 % of males wanted to be thinner. The average age of adolescents suffering from anorexia nervosa is around 15. 5 although it seems that some teenagers are having this disorder at around 12 years of age. The reason could be that this period of time happens to be the transitional period when they graduated from primary school to secondary school and coupled with the physical and emotional changes as they go through puberty, it makes them more vulnerable to anorexia nervosa. Anorexic adolescents experience severe disturbances in 3 areas of psychological functioning. The first is their body image.

Although they might be looking like a skeleton already but they still see someone who is too fat and needs to continue dieting. The second disturbance is misinterpretation of internal and external stimuli. It means that although an adolescent is literally starving to death but they enjoy the feeling of hunger and their thin bodies, both of which make them feel thinner. The third disturbance would be a pervasive sense of ineffectiveness and helplessness about their ability to direct their life. This disorder is accompanied by psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder as the victim magnifies a slight flaw to such a degree that all other aspects of personality and appearance are ignored. (Kagan and Gall, 1998, p. 107) In this case, depression is being viewed as being secondary to the dieting and the state of starvation rather than a separated entity. Usually patients with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are usually referred to the Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) or the Eating Disorder Clinic (EDC) which was established at the Institute of Mental Health in 1994.

CGC usually see patients who are under 18 while EDC attends to cases 18 years old and above. Eating disorder- Bulimia Bulimia is a related eating disorder that frequently involves a recurrent binge-purge syndrome in which food are eaten and then immediately purged by forced vomiting, laxatives and other cathartics. (Seifert et al, 2000, p. 353) Almost half of anorexics have bulimia eating patterns too. People at greatest risk for bulimia are those who have deeply accepted or identify with the social and cultural norms that equate fat with the ugly and thinness with the beautiful. Anorexia and bulimia are also frequently associated with serious family problem such as a mother-daughter relationship that is overprotective, rigid, rejecting or hostile. Most likely the mothers in this case are preoccupied with being thin and have some disturbed eating patterns. There is also evidence that sexual abuse may be involved in some cases.

To treat anorexia and bulimia successfully, there are a few steps to follow. Firstly, the eating disorder must be deal with in a way that addresses both the patients need for control and the distortions in their thinking. In this case, a highly restricted hospital environment is needed which will allows careful observation and also to reinforce more appropriate eating behaviors. Antidepressant medications are helpful in reducing depression and risk of suicide that are present in many such cases. Secondly, the treatment must address the underlying family problems and abnormal interactions among family members that are invariably related to the eating disorder. Finally, individual counseling or therapy sessions for the patient must be held to help her uncover her own abilities and resources for independent thinking, judging and feelings.

It must help her to achieve autonomy and self directed identity by helping her to become aware of, express and act on her own impulses, feelings and needs. Summary During those awkward adolescent years, teenagers are more likely to commit crimes, join gangs, be stressed out or sink into depression, thus it will be good for parents to be more supportive morally and emotionally and care for their children during that time. Some of them have eating disorders which might not be discovered until it is too late as they tend to be able to hide them well. The choices that teenagers make during that time could also greatly affect their future if they happen to make a wrong decision.

It will be good for teenagers to participate in healthy activities organized by their schools such as camps, community services, field trips and maybe some competitions. This way they can make more friends, be active socially, gain knowledge and grow up in a healthier environment. References Kagan, J, & Gall, S (1998). The Gale Encyclopedia of Childhood & Adolescence. United States of America: Gale Research. Kail, V, & Cavanaugh, C (2000).

Human Development: A Lifespan View. Wadsworth. Seifert, L, Hoffnung, J, & Hoffnung, M (2000). Lifespan Development.

Houghton Mifflin Company. Sigelman, K, & Rider, A (2006). Life-span Human Development. Thomas Wadsworth.

Yap, S. (2006, January 2). Youth arrests climb to highest in 5 years. The Straits Times, Home, p. 2.


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