America seems to be obsessed with thinness, perhaps to mimic the idealized female body shape portrayed by successful models, actresses, singers and even cartoon characters. Women try to get skinny by starving themselves, smoking, taking pills or even using cocaine. "A 2000 study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that about half of the 62 children interviewed wanted to be thinner, and over 15 percent of them had already made at least one attempt to lose weight (Sacher, 2000, pg.1). In the pursuit of weight loss, young women use strategies other than good nutrition and exercise. Some diabetic girls try to lose weight by purposefully taking less insulin than what was prescribed, so that the food they eat will be flushed from the body instead of being absorbed. Other strategies being used are "fad" and starvation diets, using appetite-suppressant drugs, throwing up after eating, using high doses of laxatives and smoking. Adult women may use these tactics also, which is dangerous to their health and well-being. Teenage dieters are at greater risk of gaining weight or, at the other extreme, developing an eating disorder such as anorexia and bulimia. As an alternative, females of all ages are urged to learn healthy eating practice: Eating when hungry and stopping when full.
Dieting tends to leave people heavier than they were in the first place and can have significant health risks. These health risks include the following:.
• High blood pressure.
• Loss in bone mass .
• Teeth and gums problems.
• Malnutrition (causing damage to hair, nails, body tissues and organs).
• Electrolyte imbalances.
• Loss of lean muscle tissue.
• Weakness and irritability.
• Lack of menstrual periods.
Women with clinical depression who diet are significantly more likely to experience another episode of depression than those who do not diet.