An eating disorder is becoming a major problem in the country. The obesity epidemic is thought to be responsible for increased incidences of an eating disorders. National wide concern with reducing weight to avoid obesity has significantly affected the eating habits of many people. In some cases, some individuals opt for unnatural ways of reducing weight. Healthy eating and exercising are vital for health, however, overemphasis on the need for weight loss seems to be having negative effects as some individuals become obsessed with the ideal weight (Bearman, Martinez, Stice & Presenell, 2006).
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Incidences of eating disorders are widespread in the United States where they cut across different age groups and ethnicity. Although the problem is widespread, it is considered to be a problem for adolescents and young adults with the highest number of cases. Society’s perception of beauty and health has a big role in the increase of eating disorders. In American society individuals that are slender and slim are considered healthy and beautiful while those who are overweight are being considered lazy and unattractive. Without a check, Americans may move from an obesity epidemic to an epidemic in eating disorders. The essay reviews “Management of Eating Disorder” (AHRQ Evidence Reports, 2006), a literature review on eating disorders. The literature review addresses the problem of eating disorders with a focus on treatment options.
Eating Disorder as a psychological disorder
Although eating disorders appear to be physiological problems, they can also be considered psychological issues. They are considered as mental effects by the fact that they mainly occur because of obsession with health, weight, and beauty. Eating disorders are caused by unhealthy eating behaviors. Unhealthy heating behaviors may range from extreme and unhealthy reduction in food intake that leads to unhealthy growth to excessive eating. When an individual is affected by an eating disorder, he or she shows negative feelings about eating, figure, weight, or all three.
Range of Literature in the Literature Review
Various articles are included in the literature review. Articles generally addressing the problem were included. Although varied articles are included, the review mainly focuses on remedies. The review starts by comparing different definitions of eating disorders as provided by different authors. Manifestation of the problem among individuals of different demographic backgrounds is then addressed. There is a demonstration of interest in the causes of eating disorders. Most authors agree that the problem results from obsession over health and beauty. Authors however differ on the actual causes of the problem as some authors provide varying opinions. Various eating disorders are addressed in the review. Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorders are the most common (AHRQ Evidence Reports, 2006).
The Methodology used in a meta-analysis has a high contribution to the validity of the outcomes. The meta-analysis is focused on methods of treatment for eating disorders and the outcome of these methods. Before the conduction of the analysis, key questions that would guide the study were set. Six questions were identified for the review. The questions sought answers to the efficacy of different methods of treating eating disorders; evidence of harm resulting from each method, and factors used to determine the efficacy of the methods (Bearman, Martinez, Stice & Presenell, 2006). The questions also sought to determine whether the efficacy of treatment methods differed in different groups such as gender, ethnicity, age, or cultural groups. They also sought to provide answers to the factors that determined the outcome, and whether the outcome differed in gender, sex, ethnicity, age, and cultural group. The review covers the key questions about the treatment method and its outcome. These questions provided the main analytical framework for the review. After setting the key questions, criteria for searching relevant material, and exclusion and exclusion criteria were stipulated.
The review considered treatment and outcomes of the three major eating disorders: Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. The review intended to include treatment and outcome of eating disorders not otherwise specified but because of the scarcity of materials majored on binge eating disorders (Vitousek, Watson & Wilson, 1998). Issues regarding each eating disorder including treatment and outcome of the treatments were considered separately. The outcomes of having a specific eating disorder were examined by reviewing observational studies. The outcomes constituted eating, psychological or psychiatric, biomarker variables as well as death. Although the review considered the efficacy of treatment, it focussed more on disease level and other challenges that persist over time.
Exclusion and exclusion criteria are paramount in a meta-analysis. A literature review cannot cover all literature on a particular topic. Criteria are required to narrow down a study to specific objectives. The literature review was first limited to human studies that constituted individuals above five years. Although there is growing interest in eating disorders in children, studies on that subject were ruled out as being beyond the scope of the review (Vitousek, Watson & Wilson, 1998). The review consisted of studies that were published between 1981 and 2006. Studies with both male and female participants were considered in the study. However, the participants had to be diagnosed with any of the three eating disorders. Studies that combined diseases were excluded from the review. Such data were excluded, as they would have interfered with the study on specific disorders. Also excluded were commentaries, editorials, articles that were not related to the key questions, letters, and the studies that provided insufficient information (AHRQ Evidence Reports, 2006). Studies to be included were expected to give information on one or more of the outcome categories which included eating, psychological, or biomarker measures.
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Systematic searches were conducted to obtain articles to be reviewed. The searches were conducted based on search terms while hand search was used in some cases. The searches were conducted on standard databases on health cases. The databases used for search consisted of PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Applied Health, MEDLINE, Information Resources Information Centre (ERIC), and National Agricultural Online Access (AHRQ Evidence Reports, 2006). Using the inclusion/ exclusion criteria specified for the study, a list of search terms was generated. The search terms were supplemented by MEDLINE’s keyword searches. Search terms used for the study constituted the terms bulimia, anorexia, anorexia nervosa, treatment, eating, prevention, and intervention. The searches were limited depending on the type of study that included random allocation, single and double-blind searches were conducted using the search terms. The articles obtained were rated using appropriate rating criteria to assist in article selection (AHRQ Evidence Reports, 2006).
The literature review shows that the treatment methods used are being advocated for by different medical professionals. Apart from the proposed treatment methods, the review shows the outcomes that result from the different eating disorders. For binge eating disorders, psychological and dietary measures that control weight was used (AHRQ Evidence Reports, 2006). Other treatment methods for binge eating disorders were found to be mental behavior and interpersonal analysis, and nutritional advancement such as taking food with low-fat content. The review also shows that the above interventions were of great help in helping binge disorder victims. Many scholars in the review feel that the treatment of mental disorders resulting indirectly from the eating disorders was a communal role.
Outcomes of the three eating disorders among various groups of people were well featured in the review. As demonstrated in the review, the outcome varies depending on sex, gender, masculinity, maturity, ethnicity, and cultural background (Bearman, Martinez, Stice & Presenell, 2006). The outcome for each eating disorder was stated separately. Four main concerns are featured in the review. These include those associated with eating, mental variables, and those calculated through biological mechanisms such as weight, menstrual cycles, and fatality.
The review extensively discusses factors that influence the use of a particular therapy for the treatment of eating disorders. Apart from behavioral measures, which were rated moderate, other treatment and intervention measures were rated low. The outcome for treatments was found to vary with age, sex community, gender, and racial differences. However, the treatment of the three eating disorders does put these factors into consideration (AHRQ Evidence Reports, 2006). Treatment using medication alone, behavioral intervention alone, and a combination of the two is featured in the review. For individuals treated using medicine alone, various side effects were reported. For instance, there could be a change in weight and moods because of the antidepressants.
Learning Outcomes and Conclusion
The literature review shows that eating disorders are major health challenges currently and in the future if appropriate measures are not taken. It becomes imperative from the study that each individual should take a closer look at health issues. The initiative to cut weight should not lead an individual into adopting poor eating habits that lead to eating disorders. Obsessions with ideal physic are the dominant cause of eating disorders. To avoid the looming epidemic, there is a need for the provision of health education to all.
- AHRQ Evidence Reports. (2006). Management of Eating Disorders [online]. Web.
- Bearman, S., Martinez, E., Stice, E., & Presenell, K. (2006). The skinny on body dissatisfaction: A longitudinal study of adolescent girls and boys. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 217-229
- Vitousek, K., Watson, S. & Wilson, T. (1998). Enhancing motivation for change in treatment-resistant eating disorder. Clinical Psychology Review 18(4), 391-420.