Fear Of Food: Anorexia

Eating is part of life. Several times a day our stomach reminds us of this. When we are hungry, we enjoy a delicious meal or have a snack. But we don’t eat just to satisfy our hunger. Eating is a pleasure. Couples, for example, like to go out to eat in a romantic restaurant in the evening. So you see: eating is something enjoyable for most people.

However, some young people have a problem with food. They feel too fat, even though they are very thin. Today we want to explain to you why this is so.

Anorexia: When People No Longer Want To Eat

The word anorexia contains the term addiction. Addiction always has something to do with pathological behavior. Addicts behave in a way that is actually not good for them. If someone is addicted to food, they constantly reach for chip bags and the like. Anorexics, on the other hand, are addicted to losing weight. They want to be very thin. They think they are ugly and fat. That is why they are very unhappy. Anorexics exercise a lot and hardly eat to become thinner and thinner. When they are told they are thin, they can’t believe it.

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At some point, they are “just skin and bones”. Since the body absolutely needs food, these people become sicker and sicker. Anorexia can even be fatal in the worst cases. That is why it is important to take this disease very seriously.

Triggers For Anorexia

Anorexia often starts in girls after their first menstrual period. When a girl is afraid of growing up or does not want to be a woman yet, her self-esteem suffers. She feels ugly and feels she has to change something. So it can happen that she becomes anorexic.

Boys can also become anorexic. And especially when they are afraid of being overweight or face insurmountable problems. Many can’t handle the fact that their parents are getting divorced or a family member has died. If they don’t get help, an addiction can develop very quickly. Some distract themselves with alcohol, cigarettes, computer games, or sports. Others feel a compulsion to become thinner than others.

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People like photo models or dancers very often suffer from anorexia. They are expected to be slim. Therefore, they put themselves under pressure. Again, they may overdo it with dieting or refuse to eat completely.

Anorexia Checklist

Like any addiction, anorexia does not happen suddenly. Very slowly, the pathological behavior creeps in. At some point, it is too late to recover without outside help. That is why it is important not to let it get that far in the first place. The following checklist shows you the border between healthy and pathological. If some of the points apply to you, you should urgently contact a doctor and talk to your parents about it.

  • You feel fat, even though you have recently lost a lot of weight.
  • You take weight loss pills and laxatives.
  • Applies to girls: You no longer have a menstrual period.
  • You divide your portions into small pieces and take a long time to eat them.
  • You are afraid of fatty foods, sweets and snacks.
  • People around you think you are too thin.
  • The thought that you might gain weight causes you panic.
  • You are usually sad and irritable.
  • Sometimes you vomit on purpose after you eat.
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Do you recognize someone from your environment in this description? Talk to them about it and ask your parents for advice.

You can read more about anorexia in the article “Dangerous slimming mania”.

Worksheet For The Text

1) Explain the difficult words in the text.
What does…

  • Addiction
  • Anorexia

2) Why do some people become anorexic? What are the triggers? Write down your answer here.

3) What do you know about anorexia? Create a mind map about this topic.

Photo: Lisa_A / bigstockphoto.com

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