The international no diet day is a day that is set aside to celebrate and appreciate the different body shapes and sizes. The day also works towards the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating. International diet day is a day that is celebrated on 6th day of May every year. This day was created by Mary Evans Young in the year 1992 who is the director of Diet Breakers a British group. Mary experienced anorexia on a personal level and thence got the drive to aid other persons in appreciating themselves and their bodies.
The INDD has a ribbon symbol that is similar to that of AIDS day but worn in blue. The day seeks to further raise the awareness on the dangers as well as the futility in dieting. The International No Diet day seeks to meet several goals as outlined
- Celebrating the beauty found in all the different natural body shapes and sizes
- For individuals to declare one day moratorium on weight obsession
- Inform people on the facts surrounding weight loss and dieting, body size and health
- Highlight the fact that dieting does perpetuate violence against women
- Victims of weight loss surgery and eating disorders are honored
- Aid in ending fat phobia, sizes and weight discrimination
When a person is dissatisfied with how they look, they tend to get an obsession which mostly leans on dieting to get the ‘societal’ body size. This obsession leads to eating disorders which are associated with several dangerous physical, social and psychological consequences. Persons with eating disorder will show unusual eating habits and fluctuating weight. Therefore persons who are overly concerned about their body weight or shape, will most likely put a lot of effort in trying to manage this weight by controlling their food intake which leads to eating disorders in the name of dieting. Eating disorders can be anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder;
Persons suffering from anorexia nervosa constantly find themselves to be overweight which leads to their obsession with weight control, eating and the food they eat. This disorder features;
- Food restriction in a severe manner
- Body weights that are extremely low
- Afraid of weight gain
- Refraining from maintaining a normal weight by pursuing thinness relentlessly
- The female gender lacks menstrual periods
- Self esteem is influenced by the body image thus a distorted body image
With time this disorder leads to serious medical issues like osteoporosis, dry and yellow skin, low blood pressure, a slowed breathing, the heart functions get damaged, severe constipation, anemia…etc.
Persons suffering from this disorder will once in awhile lose control in the amount of foods they consume. These episodes are uncontrollable and are then followed by forced vomiting, fasting, excessive exercise, and excessive use of laxatives all in an effort to compensate the binge eating. Persons with this binge and purge disorder have the following symptoms;
- Sore and chronically inflamed throat
- Tooth enamel is worn, decaying or sensitive due to constant exposure to the acids produced in the stomach
- Gastrointestinal disorders together with acid reflux
- Dehydration from the extreme purging
- Intestinal irritation and distress due to laxative abuse
- Electrolyte imbalances
Binge Eating Disorder
Persons with this disorder tend to lose control and will eat excess. They will not purge the food that is eaten, or result to excessive exercise or any form of trying to get rid of the excess calories, thus the reason why persons with binge eating disorder tend to be obese or overweight. Once overweight, medically there is the risk of developing cardiovascular related illnesses, diabetes or even high blood pressure. Socially an overweight person may feel shame and guilt which can extremely cause distress to them and cause further binge eating.
Eating disorders are treated by acting fast to bring the body weight to normal from either side of the graph (underweight or overweight). This is achievable if the binging, the purging, the excessive exercises and all the undesirable behaviors are halted. By using Maudley Approach and Cognitive Behavior Approach, there is likely to successful response. Antidepressants have also been successfully used especially for bulimia nervosa patients and other disorders too.
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