The Causes And Effects Of Anorexia Nervosa (AN)

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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a type of eating disorder “that involve maladaptive attempts to control body weight, significant disturbances in eating behavior, and abnormal attitudes about body shape and weight” (Wicks-Nelson, & Israel, 2016, p. 357). The significance of anorexia nervosa to the development of child and adolescent is that the disorder typically begins during adolescence and is even showing earlier signs in younger children. Women represent cases of eating disorder at an astounding number of 90%. Specifically, “the life time prevalence of AN in females is reported to be between 1.4% and 2%” (Wicks-Nelson, & Israel, 2016, p. 358). The life time prevalence represents the individuals who fully meets the diagnostic criteria for AN.
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The first criteria are that the individual’s “persistent restriction of energy intake that leads to a significant low body weight” (Wicks-Nelson, & Israel, 2016, p. 358). Secondly, the “individual has an intense fear of gaining weight or persistent behavior to avoid gaining weight” (Wicks-Nelson, & Israel, 2016, p. 358). Lastly, the individual has a distorted perception of their body weight or shape. There are two subtypes to AN, the restricting type and binge-eating/purging type. The restricting type restricts the consumption of food and/or engage in highly intensive exercise. The binge-eating/purging type consumes food in large amounts or intakes uncontrollable amount of foods and get rid of unwanted calories by methods like vomiting, or use of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas (Wicks-Nelson, & Israel, 2016, p. 357). There is an important consideration to be made to the prevalence of anorexia nervosa. There are cases where many individuals are not included in the prevalence due to lack of meeting the full diagnosis criteria of AN. However, it is common in young people display signs of disturbance with body image or discorded …show more content…
The textbook mentions the family weight history attributing to the cause of AN. There has been some debate and a rise in speculations to whether if comments regarding weight and body shape during early childhood years can trigger dieting, which can later evolve into an eating disorder. However, this considered speculation has not been proven, but is being studied. Another associated feature of anorexia is regarding the individual’s personality trait. It has said to be that those with anorexia have a negative and a perfectionist personality, but the research is uncertain regarding this association. Specifically, there has been a study conducted to test the personality stereotype of those with anorexia nervosa (Watters & Malouff, 2012). The researchers hypothesized that individuals described as having anorexia is perceived to have a negative personality trait. The data was collected by 636 participants using the Big Five Inventory, which is a series of 44 questions assessing the perceived personality for individuals with AN. Watters and Malouff (2012) were able to find their hypothesized result that individuals with AN are perceived to have a negative personality trait from those who do not have AN. Although there may not be a clear research indicating that those with certain personality traits are more prone to AN, this study illustrated the damaging and undesirable stereotypical perception of individuals

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