Dying To Be Thin

January 12, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson   

The pressure to be thin can be intense for adolescent girls, but that pressure does not necessarily stop the older you get.   What starts out as a diet for some can turn into a deadly obsession, even leading to anorexia or bulimia.   The fight to end this wide spread disorder is getting help from a most unlikely place.   The fashion world might be the last place you would expect to be promoting healthy eating habits, but a recent announcement has left some people shocked and health experts smiling.

Models are supposed to be perfect, but medically speaking, they are often too thin, but they are still the image that many young girls strive to achieve.   Doctor B. J. Foch with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said, "There is a great concern among females over thinness."  Foch was talking about a disease that if gone untreated can be deadly.   Foch said, "The two most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa."

If you think eating disorders only affect the women strutting a cat walk, think again.   Recent studies show that one out of every 100 women in the U.S. between ten and twenty years old is battling anorexia.   Four out of every 100 college aged women suffer from bulimia.   That is why European countries like Spain and Italy gave models an ultimatum, pack on a few pounds or end up being banned from the runway.

Taking the lead from European nations, for the first time American designers seem to be following the same idea.   The Council of Fashion Designers of America is beginning a campaign of awareness about eating disorders.   Still some health experts say this is not enough, saying fashion designer's guidelines do not take the problem of eating disorders seriously enough.

Regardless of how you feel about the new steps the fashion industry is taking, everyone seems to agree that this new concept is a step in the right direction. It is important that we point out, while women are most often affected by eating disorders, men can also suffer from the disease.  In fact, about ten percent of the estimated 8 million American's that have eating disorders are men.