The Changing Face of Anorexia
Anorexia is getting older – and younger – and not just white and female. What's going on?
Cultural Pressures to Blame?
Experts agree that precious little is still understood about anorexia and
other eating disorders in "nontraditional" populations, like men,
minority groups, older women, and younger children. But many suggest that it
might have to do with the pervasiveness of cultural pressures. "We have a
culture that is fat-phobic, that has unrealistic notions of how thin a body
type ought to be and at what age," says Mickley.
"One of the things we've been trying to figure out is how much these
disorders can be attributed to inherent biological factors, and how much comes
from the culture," says Bunnell. (A growing body of studies point to a
strong genetic connection for
"The obvious answer is that it's always both. But these days, the
cultural pressure about weight is so high, the focus on obesity is so intense,
and the culture has broadened so much," he notes. Maybe as the culture has
gotten louder and more intense, it exposes more of that latent