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Positive and Negative Consequences of Diet - Case Study Example

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This study demonstrates a strong association between dieting and onset of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia and erratic eating habits like binge eating.And also other psychosocial consequences such as smoking, substance abuse and alcoholism, unprotected sex, suicide attempts, and delinquency…
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Positive and Negative Consequences of Diet
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Download file to see previous pages   Approximately 60 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys of the adolescent age diet at some point in time during adolescence. A significant percentage of those individuals resort to unhealthy or even dangerous methods of dieting like intake of pills, use of very low calorie diets and fasting. Adolescents are often concerned about their weight and shape (Gruber et al, 2001). In addition to the real health risks of obesity and poor eating habits, these youngsters are also exposed to thin beauty ideals that are unrealistic. It is very unfortunate that there is overemphasis of thinness among youngsters, because of which they equate thinness and beauty with success and health. The media provides ideas for various means of losing weight in order to achieve the thin ideal (Morris and Katzman, 2003). Information delivered by media thus are often based on fad trends, with financial incentive and without any scientific backing. The net result is that several adolescents feel the cultural pressure for becoming thinner, more than that required for optimum health and they attempt to fit into this through nutritional choices that are either poor or dangerous or both (Adolescent Health Committee, 2004).
   According to BBC News (2006), "Teenagers often choose food in response to peer pressure or as an act of defiance against parents." Dr. Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: "We are well aware of the effect of diet upon our physical health. But we are only just beginning to understand how the brain as an organ is influenced by the nutrients it derives from the foods we eat and how diets have an impact on our mental health." And he added that addressing mental health problems with changes in diet was showing better results in some cases than using drugs or counseling. While the reasons for dieting among adolescents are varied, in the majority of teenagers, the motivating factors are dissatisfaction with body image and desire to appear thinner. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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