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13 The Relationship Between Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Body Image Problems 

How your body image affects your life 

Today’s society is obsessed with the perfect body. The current study will help to determine if there is a relationship between body image, eating disorders, and body image problems. This research will be used to develop an awareness campaign and materials for the public and health care providers with the goal of reducing eating disorders and body image problems among adolescents and young adults. 

What is body image, and how does it affect your life? 

Body image refers to people’s subjective perceptions of their own bodies, as opposed to how their bodies actually seem—it is made up of beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and behaviors, and it is a complicated construct.  

Our health, emotional health, and relationships are all affected by how we view ourselves and our bodies. A positive body image requires an objective evaluation of one’s appearance as well as the ability to separate one’s worth as a person from how one looks.  

Body image difficulties begin in childhood, when you begin to establish your own self-image, or how you see yourself in the mirror and during the day. You establish opinions about yourself, your health, your roles, and your acceptability. Eating disorders and other problems are frequently caused by negative body image difficulties—negative body image is characterized by unhappiness with one’s appearance and the use of actions including dieting, checking, and/or avoidance to alleviate the discontent. 

Your body image continues to change as you grow older. This growth is aided by comments from others, such as peers, family members, mentors, coaches, and others. Personality issues, such as perfectionism or low self-esteem, can have a negative impact on your body image. 

Eating Disorders: Body Image Problems 

People with skewed ideas of their own bodies get concerned with their weight and size, feeling humiliated or self-conscious about themselves, which leads to eating and body image difficulties. They may develop a weight-loss obsession and begin to diet and exercise. Furthermore, stress and sadness can cause eating patterns to be disrupted, resulting in a loss of appetite or food cravings. These disordered eating and activity routines can lead to eating disorders including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Compulsive Eating over time— 

A diagnosis of either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa is characterized by a self-evaluation that is disproportionately influenced by body shape and weight. Anorexia nervosa is also associated with a change in one’s perception of their body weight or form, as well as an inability to identify the severity of their current low body weight. 

Some, but not all, eating disorders are characterized by a ‘over-evaluation of shape and weight.’ These are usually thought to be a female problem, although they affect both men and women and have a significant physical and mental impact on those who suffer from them. 

The reasons behind eating disorders and negative body image 

As we strive for the perfect physique, images in the media and on television can make us feel insecure about our bodies, leading to eating and body image issues. We could be affected in a variety of ways. An eating disorder has no single cause. Rather, they frequently occur when a combination of factors such as stress, personality, and others’ perceived expectations combine to put pressure on a person. 

Never undervalue the impact of your body image on your life as a whole. An unhealthy connection with food, which leads to an eating disorder, can result in a variety of long-term health issues. Your heart, kidneys, and other important organs may be affected by eating disorders. 

Negative Body Image Treatment 

Body image is generally one of the last symptoms of an eating problem to improve during therapy, according to research. Even when treating individuals differently and experiencing diverse symptoms, the stages of recovery from an eating disorder follow a pretty consistent pattern.  

Weight loss and behavioral changes appear to come before psychological recovery in almost every case. And, because it is not usual for people in our society to be completely free of body image worries, some degree of body image distress and obsession may linger following recovery from an eating disorder. 

It’s important to note that body image should not be defined by a single standard. If you have been struggling with body image issues, there are many resources available to help you. Start here, or reach out to us through social media for more information on how we can help! 

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