The Effects Of Eating Disorders In College Students

940 Words 4 Pages
For college students in the United States, the act of taking care of one’s health sometimes falls to the bottom of one’s list of priorities as classes, assignments, and extracurricular activities pile up. As a likely result of the stressors in the life of a college student, healthcare for this demographic group has become an area of interest and concern. Among the many medical issues that college students face, eating disorders have dramatically increased their prevalence in some student populations (White et al., 2011). Even more damaging effects can result from combining an eating disorder with unhealthy methods that students use to boost energy and stay awake, like the consumption of energy drinks (Seifert et al., 2011). Ultimately, the …show more content…
Medically, eating disorders are classified as eating behaviors that negatively impact one’s health quality, emotions, and ability to function regularly during daily life occurrences (“Eating disorders,” 2015). Eating disorders are further categorized as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorders not otherwise specified, like binge eating. Medical professional define anorexia nervosa as the refusal to maintain a minimally normal or higher than minimally normal weight and is often associated with fear of weight gain and denial of current low weight (“Eating Disorders: About More Than Food,” 2014). On the other hand, bulimia nervosa is characterized by periods of excessive calorie consumption immediately followed by the use of methods to prevent weight gain (“Eating Disorders: About More Than Food,” 2014). Eating disorders not otherwise specified are disorders that may combine or modify symptoms of anorexia and bulimia and do not fit into these categories. Numerous risk factors can influence the development of eating disorders. Environmental risk factors include adverse living conditions, negative relationships with family …show more content…
One study reported that approximately 51% of surveyed college students consumed more than one energy drink per day and listed lack of sleep or wanting to increase energy as their primary reasons for consumption (Malinauskas et al., 2007). Aside from these typical reasons that college students would consume energy drinks, these are often consumed to improve weight loss efforts (Seifert et al., 2011). This additional potential makes energy drinks appealing options for individuals with eating disorders, as the individuals believe that the energy drinks will help curb their appetites and replace the energy they are lacking (Seifert et al., 2011). However, individuals with eating disorders who consume energy drinks may face higher risks of damaging effects, especially when the eating disorder is combined with the stresses of being a student. Common health risks for individuals without eating disorders who excessively consume energy drinks include tooth and gum decay, decreased energy over the course of the day, headaches, and even heart palpitations (Sullivan, n.d.). For individuals with eating disorders, the same health risks from energy drinks pose a threat along with severed cardiac dysrhythmias and abnormalities (Seifert et al., 2011). Ultimately, college

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