Do not like your figure? Do you do restrictive diets? Do you overeat and can not help it? Be careful, these types of attitudes are some of the causes of eating disorders and can easily make you a victim.
Eating disorders are psychological problems related to people's attitudes towards food. To this category belong anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder, which is currently under investigation.
While there are differences between the manifestations of these disorders, all have in common the fear of obesity and the desire for a perfect body image. Data from the Ministry of Health show that anorexia and bulimia are the most frequent alterations of eating behavior in Mexico, especially in women between 12 and 25 years of age.
"We must all take care of our health and one way to do it is to eat in a timely manner, but the constant concern for weight and figure is a mental problem often associated with low self-esteem," says the doctor. Juan Manuel Mancilla, project manager of Research in Nutrition of the School of Higher Studies Iztacala of the UNAM.
"People want to achieve the aesthetic ideal of thinness because they consider it determinant to achieve their goals," says the university psychologist, who leads a group of experts interested in evaluating different aspects of food.
In the field of eating behavior, his first studies were focused on dancers and university students, considered a highly vulnerable population. "We recorded some cases of anorexia and bulimia.
Subsequently, from new research with other sectors of the Mexican population, we already observed the increase of this type of diseases in men and symptoms from very early ages, "he says.
Although a high percentage of the interviewees showed no clinical signs of the disorders, most of them -even primary and secondary adolescents- reflected negative perceptions towards their body; others confessed to restrictive diets or exercise as a way to lose weight or to preserve an aesthetically accepted figure.
For Dr. Mancilla, these behaviors are indicators that "something is wrong," since they may be the beginning of anorexia or bulimia. That is why it recommends as a form of prevention that parents have communication with their children and make them aware that personal care is an important part of life, but it is not the determining factor of success or happiness.
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