What are the facts?
An eating disorder is more than just strict diet and excessive exercise. It is a mental issue that, if not treated immediately, turns into a physical illness.
Is there a problem/issue?
Yes, there is a problem. Many people are faced with this disorder and some may not even be aware of it. I’ll continue to increase in adolescents and adults if not taken serious or if not treated properly.
How did it begin and what are its causes?
No one knows exactly when eating disorders were discovered. Some researchers say it goes all the way back during the Ancient Greeks. According to sources, the Ancient Greeks were bulimics, they binged and purged often. Just like any mental illness like Depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, compulsive disorder and others, there is no single cause for eating disorders. Many factors that lead or influence the irregular eating behavior includes cultural and family/friend pressures, the media, emotional and personal insecurities of one’s own body image. Genetics and biologic factors may also play a role.
What changed to create the problem/issue?
In today’s society, especially with exposure to the media (television, movies, magazines, Internet and social networking) correlate with negative body image, which lead some to have disordered eating. Celebrities, famous athletes and singers are seen as having the “ideal” body type. Because of all these excess and exposure to the media, people are faced with trying to reach these unrealistic expectations. All the factors mention above previously lowers a person’s self-esteem, have negative thoughts/criticisms, and are insecure with their body image.
What is the definition of the problem/issue?
An eating disorder is a complex and and can turn into a long-term illness that is caused my many external and internal factors.
What exactly is the nature of the problem/issue?
There are many different types of eating disorders. The most common ones are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating.
To what larger class of things or events does it belong?
I am focusing my research argument specifically in the United States and the denial of health coverage. Eating Disorders only is a broad topic and can be branched out to many other little sub-topics. This issue not only concerns the United States, but people over around the world.
What are its parts, and how are they related?
Health insurance companies cover depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive and other disorder and illness treatments but not eating disorders. According to health insurers, there are several common reasons for insurance denials of coverage for eating disorder treatment. One reason, which is the most controversial one is, eating disorders are not classified as a medical illness and rather it is a mental health. Another reason patients do not get the proper coverage is because insurers feel that hospitalization is not “medically necessary,” for treating eating disorders.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
For health insurance companies to deny and avoid coverage charges and medical expenses is a bad thing.
How serious is the problem/issue?
It is a health/medical related issue that affects the person’s mental and physical health. If not treated properly or do not seek the proper medical attention then possible illnesses may develop or even worse, death.
Whom might it affect?
Most people make the connection with females and eating disorders. It is not true. Men are just as likely to develop an eating disorder. According to my PSY 103 class, “Historically, women’s rates were about 10 times higher than men’s. But men are catching up.” Eating disorders affects all ages, gender, race, and ethnicity.
What happens if we don’t do anything?
People do die at some point because they cannot afford treatment or just because they do not seek out for help or treatment. If people do not do anything about it they can develop and suffer other severe conditions such as malnutrition, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, hyponatremia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, cancer, insomnia, callused or bruised fingers, dry skin and hair, brittle hair and nails, hair loss, low blood pressure, hypotension, osteopenia, arthritis, liver failure, heart attack, infertility, depression, weakness and fatigue, seizures, and death.
What are the costs of solving the problem/issue?
Treatments are costly. I don’t know the exact cost of specific treatments but some families had to take out second or third mortgage loans to pay for the treatments. According to a blog from The New York Times, “The Cost of an Eating Disorder,” published on December 3, 2012 says that “A residential program costs $30,000 a month on average. And many patients require three or more months of treatment, often at a facility far from home. Even after leaving a specialized program, patients may need years of follow-up care.” Based on this information alone, we know that treatments are extremely costly especially since health insurers do not cover it.
Should action be taken?
Yes, immediate action should be taken.
Who should be involved in helping to solve the problem/address the issue?
Health Insurers should cover treatment. Doctors, legislators and other political authorities, family and friends, and others around the world should be involved or spread aware to help solve this problem.
What needs to happen to solve this problem/address this issue?
Legislators and other political authorities should pass a law or talk with health insurance companies to convince them to cover the charges. Also, Doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other researchers should provide evidence and reasoning as to how an eating disorder is in fact a medical related issue. It is disturbing and upsetting how people die for things that can be prevented. For example, smoking, another high death rate in the United States can be prevented. If people do not take action, more and more out there will continue to die because they are not given the proper care and treatment.