English 111 S04
20 October 2011
Health Care Coverage on Eating Disorders
The United States alone has over 10 million females and 1 million males diagnosed with the two most common eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) with millions more suffering from binge eating disorders (Crowther). These are only the documented cases, as there is a taboo of the subject and many people may feel ashamed or deny the disorder and never report themselves. Surveys have shown that 80% of women in America are not pleased with their body appearance (Smolak). These disorders do not heal immediately and require a constant effort and treatment (Palme). “Only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment,” says the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, and up to 80% of the patients who have access to some care do not receive as much as necessary for treatment (Eating Disorder Statistics).
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder where a person is diagnosed with a fear of gaining weight while being extremely emaciated, amenorrhea, and a refusal to maintain a normal body weight; in order to be diagnosed a person must be less at least less than 15% the normal weight range for their body type (Anorexia Nervosa - PubMed Health). There are two different forms that anorexia nervosa can take, one being extremely restrictive in caloric intake, and the other a pattern of binging on a small amount of calories and regularly purging the contents in order to avoid weight gain (Different Types of Eating Disorders in Teenagers). There is an estimated death rate of up to 10% in anorexia patients (Anorexia Nervosa - PubMed Health). According to psychotherapist Gunborg Palme anorexia may cause, “constipation, increased sensitivity to infections, stomach ache, very low pulse, anaemia, kidney damage, cardiovascular disorders and shortage of skeletal calcium” (Palme).
Bulimia patients are diagnosed with patterns of binging and purging, or vomiting, large...