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Teens Against Anorexia

Teens Against Anorexia

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This project is a requirement of the GOA Abnormal Psychology Course. Using the process of design thinking, a challenge in the world of mental health was identified, interviews and research were undertaken, and a solution prototype was developed. Below you will find information about the identified area of concern and my proposed solution. Please feel free to provide feedback on this prototype, using questions such as “How might we…”, “What if….?”, “I wonder….”, “I like…”, and “I wish.” Keep the comments positive, please. For more information on the process of Design Thinking, click https://dschool.stanford.edu/

Eating Disorders, particularly one like  Anorexia Nervosa, has been experiencing an increase in the development of social media and technology. Eating disorders can occur in people of all ages and backgrounds; it doesn’t discriminate. But, in the more recent years its taken a heavier toll on the teenage population. Focusing particularly on the teens in South Florida, Anorexia has become overly prevalent, and body image affects 40-60% of the adolescent population. Anorexia is a disorder created by the limitation of food to the body; people are purposefully starving themselves because they see themselves as being “too” overweight.

Every 62 Minutes someone dies from an eating disorder

90% of teens with anorexia are girls

Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents

 

 

 

Statement from Students:

Anonymous 1: “It was one of the hardest times of my life because I never thought I would be able to stop. I had always thought that I needed to be like super skinny so I experienced it but I don’t support it and don’t think anyone else should live through what I did.”

 

Anonymous 2: “I had tried dieting for a while and nothing had been working, so I decided to stop eating completely. It was really hard to hide from my family because we always ate dinner together and they were really observant, so I would need to play with my food until everyone was done so that I didn’t have to actually eat it. I almost tried to make myself throw up but I never really pushed myself to that point. I think that my friends were some of the first to notice and they told my parents and it started the process of recovery, which was a long and hard one. I do think about starving myself sometimes, even today

because I do want to look like the models that I see on Instagram but not everyone can look that way.”

 

Anonymous 3: “Growing up in Miami and in a Hispanic household never made me think that it was possible for me to experience Anorexia. I had always seen it in movies or tv shows and there were some girls at school that I thought had Anorexia but I wasn’t sure. But for me, it was freshman year when I started my first day of high school and looked at the girls around me, and saw that a lot of people had lost weight over the summer and had gotten super tan and pretty and I was just so jealous. So I started to cut things out of my meals and created a really strict diet. But over time I just stopped liking the foods that I had picked out for myself so I stopped eating altogether. My mom had noticed my body changing when we would go shopping like my wrists had started to look really boney and my ribs were more pronounced and sometimes I looked in the mirror and thought I looked great but other times I looked at myself and saw this like skeleton. So my mom took me to a doctor who recommended some therapy and a correct eating schedule. It took a while for my body to accept the taste of food again and want to consume it but it really helped to have my family there to support me.”

At my high school, there have been initiatives to spread awareness about eating disorders and other topics through programs like Health Information Project (HIP). I believe that involving schools with programs like these, bringing people to speak about their experiences with the disorder or even just starting the conversation in classrooms can be the change that is needed to stop the growth of deaths by eating disorders.

Any comments, concerns, or even suggestions on how to create this much-needed change feel free to comment/contact me.

 

SOURCES CITED:

“Anorexia Nervosa.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Apr. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa.

“Eating Disorder Statistics • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.” National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, www.anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/.i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/interactive/2012/03/health/infographic.eating.disorders/eating_disorders_2.gif.movietvtechgeeks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/eating-disorders-statistics-breakdown-neda.jpg.

popsugargirlsguide. “Heartbreaking Video Shows What Eating Disorders Really Look Like.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 Feb. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=89&v=CVifJ6I-i7g.

“Teen Anorexia Statistics.” Teen Help, 24 Feb. 2016, www.teenhelp.com/eating-disorders/teen-anorexia-statistics/.

watchcut. “Fat | Eating Disorders | One Word | Cut.” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Feb. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=149&v=UWXwIPs-xWg.

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COMMENTS: 17
  1. April 26, 2018 by Rikako.Kent

    Hi Lauren,

    Great presentation on the effects of eating disorders on teenagers. Your incorporation of statistics and and bold colors really made the facts stand out, which was helpful for my learning. It is both shocking and extremely sad that “every 62 Minutes someone dies from an eating disorder” and it really gets you thinking how many of those deaths could have been prevented if they had gotten the necessary treatment. I would love to know of solutions or steps that we, as highschoolers in various schools, could take to ensure that our peers are both happy and healthy.

    • May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

      Hi! I’m glad you liked it. I agree, when I was first researching on the national level the statistics that appeared were extremely shocking. I picked this topic because I knew people that had experienced Anorexia first hand and had received the treatment to get better. But as high school students I think that the first steps would be to develop a community that has a sense of empathy. and also just being able to have that conversation with a friend or in class about how they’re feeling can be instrumental to ensuring that everyone stays happy and healthy.

  2. April 26, 2018 by Tatum Angotti

    Hi Lauren,
    I really liked that you included anonymous quotes from teens who have suffered. I think that hearing these straight from the person really helps the reader to empathize with what you are saying. I would love to know solutions that you suggest that are reasonable for us as high schoolers to implement into our daily lives.

    • May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

      Hi!! I really appreciate your thoughts and comments. I think as high schoolers the day to day stress of school, social media, home, and everything else can play a big role in developing these kinds of disorders in todays youth. But something that I think would be reasonable to implement into our daily lives would be to talk to someone. Talking to someone about how your days been, how you’re feeling; talking about absolutely anything that makes you happy can be the start of change.

  3. April 29, 2018 by Marcus.Jackson

    Hi Lauren,
    Your presentation was great and informative. I really think that the effects of eating disorders on teenagers aren’t talked about at all in our society. I was hopeful to see that you care about it enough to make this presentation. I think that the statements from students really help with internalizing the struggles of having an eating disorder. Overall, great job!

    • May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

      Thank you so much !

  4. April 29, 2018 by Emily.Ecclestone

    I also loved that you included anonymous quotes! I also loved the video very engaging. Loved the work you did!

    • May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

      Thank you!!

  5. April 29, 2018 by Kiley.Herlihy

    This topic is very important to talk about, especially as so many young people suffer from this disorder. The TED talk you included really brought a personal perspective, as well as the anonymous statements. The layout of your presentation was also very effective, and easy to understand. Well done!

    • May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

      Thank you Kiley !

  6. April 29, 2018 by Luisa

    Hi Lauren. I learned a lot from the statistics on your presentation, and the visuals you used were very powerful. Great project.

    • May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

      Thank you!

  7. April 29, 2018 by Suzy.Ascuitto

    Lauren, I thought your presentation was very engaging and the infographs really helped me visualize the statisitics. The Cut video was also very touching to watch + great way to end your video. I loved how the girl towards the end talked about how she sees moms saying “dont eat that or you will be fat” and how ironic it is that that’s their biggest concern. Parents have such a large influence on their children and they should know how their words can really determine their child’s life.

    • May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

      Yes I completely agree. I think that words have a big impact on people in general whether it comes from a parent, a friend, or even a stranger. Being mindful is one of the things that people need to be in order to see change.

  8. April 29, 2018 by Rashed Sawalha

    Hello Lauren, I really like how you discussed a really deep and sometimes uncomforting topic to talk about like this and with confidence, I also felt that the anonymous quotes were really nice and a good idea to implement in your project.

  9. April 29, 2018 by Jennifer.Bernardez

    This was an informative and moving project about an extremely important issue. Things that jumped out to me were the three lines of stats at the beginning of the presentation and the anonymous quotes.

  10. May 04, 2018 by Jerome Nashed

    This was a great presentation! I think the statistics really hit home for me and taught me more about a very prevalent ailment in society. Even more powerful were the statements that you took. It’s sad to see people unsatisfied with their bodies and feel the need to eat less and less, but hopefully awareness, such as this presentation, will help create a larger movement. Good job!

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