have an indepth and deeply moving report by schoolgirl Kate Jackson,
who's friend Lorna is recovering from the illness, anorexia.
looks at the problem of eating disorders, and then interviews Lorna
about her illness, aswell as Lorna's family and friends about the
signs they missed. We've provided web links to organisations who
can help you if you think you or someone you know has an eating
disorder. Here's Kate's report...
disorders like bulimia and anorexia can have disastrous effects
on a person’s life. 1 in 10 cases of anorexia end in death from
starvation, cardiac arrest or suicide. Anorexia is a dangerous condition
where-by people stop eating to lose weight quickly.
could be because they aren’t happy with their bodies. The belief
that they are too fat could stem from many things such as: bullying,
loneliness, family problems or the desire to be as thin as certain
are regularly subjected to images of famous actors, singers and
dancers in the print and broadcast media who are frequently thin
and idolized. In their attempt to emulate their heroes teenagers
think that they have to be thinner than they are, this can make
them resort to an eating disorder.
can we tell if someone is anorexic? There are many signs that a
person is anorexic. Some signs aren’t as obvious as others, for
who suffer from anorexia make excuses not to eat at every meal and
often wear loose clothing to hide their bodies, which they believe
aren’t the right size.
signs are: not eating in front of people, wanting to be around food
a lot to prove to themselves they can resist the temptation and
losing lots of weight over a short amount of time.
the most extreme cases the anorexia could turn into bulimia where
the person eats large amounts of food and then vomits to rid their
bodies of the excess calories.
are frequently exposed to images in the media.
noticing these signs there are several things you can do to help:
try to understand, it is, after all, a medical condition, which
Don’t try and force them to eat – it won’t work- believe me, we’ve
tried! Don’t talk down to them – they’re ill, not stupid! Don’t
feel uncomfortable eating around them – they’re the one with the
problem, not you.
around food may even help – you never know. Try being supportive;
find out more about their condition, then you’ll understand what
they’re going through.
them to eat small amounts, but don’t be too pushy – it’ll backfire
on you, and there’s nothing worse than taking one step forwards
and two steps back. Try to get advice on what to do from teachers
or other adults. The more you know about the condition can’t hurt.
treatment could be the last resort for some people. Try getting
medical advice, remember, this condition can kill and there are
clinics specially equipped for people with eating disorders.
schoolfriend, Lorna, is having treatment for anorexia and has agreed
to be interviewed about her condition. We noticed Lorna had a problem
when we were 13, but she wouldn’t admit to it.
condition was finally recognised by doctors about two years later.
Lorna was then taken in to a clinic for medical treatment, which
lasted a year.