A lot of teenagers suffer from two important eating disorders: anorexia and bulimia. They belong to our times and they are common in cultures wher it is considered desiderable to be slim. Unfortunately, we belong to an era where is important to “appear” rather than “to be”. Sometimes, anorexia and bulimia are confused because they have similar characteristics. In reality, they are different and they have in common just the fact that in both of them the person has a distorted image of his/her body. They tend to affect girls more than boys. But let’s try to underline their main difference. People who are affected by anorexia have an intense fear of being fat. He/she hardly eat at all, and food s considered an obsession, something which must be avoided at all. On the contrary, the person who is affected by bulimia does not avoid food, or eating, but instead they tend to eat a large amount of food and then they get rid of it quickly by vomiting or taking medicines. There are some important warning signs for anorexia: the person has a weight loss of about 20% below normal; the person denies feeling hungry; the person feels fat and refuses any social activities. The person who is affected by bulimia makes excuses to go to the bathroom immediately after meals; uses lavatives or diuretics. Sometimes they feel guilty and depressed and try to hide their illness. Of course they need help and sometimes medicines aren’t enough. They need to be loved and to be heard. They need to know that nobody is perfect. They need friends and their family and try to avoid web sites that encourage them to go on diets. They need to be encouraged.

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