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Were Eating Disorders Prevalent in Your High School?

With two young daughters, I really hate reading about eating disorders in the news. In a recent study, I learned a surprising statistic about eating disorders. The risk of developing one is higher among girls whose mothers, fathers, and grandparents are highly educated. A study of more than 13,000 girls in Sweden found that as a family's education increased, so did the risk for being hospitalized for anorexia or other eating disorders. The risk also increased as the girls' high school grades climbed. You would think that with more education, there would be more discussion about eating disorders, but researchers think it has to do with the strong pressures to be both smart and good looking.

There are so many pressures in high school, and it seems that everyone knows at least one classmate who dealt with a eating disorder and in some cases many more. This reminds of last week's episode of Glee, when Rachel Berry attempts to make herself vomit after the brutal choreographer tells her to lose weight. Fortunately for viewers, both impressionable and squeamish, she wasn't successful.

I'm curious to know what it was like in your high school . . .

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Nadia24gv Nadia24gv 7 years
sham28, they ARE losers. That is a waste of food and it's selfish. Boo-hoo!! It is a pathetic "disease", about as "sad" as when someone overdoses. Who. The. fuck. cares? You should feel sorry for people with cancer or polio, not an eating disorder.
sham28 sham28 7 years
Nadia24gv, thanks for your clever, awesome comment calling bulimic people losers. Brilliant.
sham28 sham28 7 years
DAAAAAAMN yogaforlife, that was a very intense post!
sham28 sham28 7 years
Hard to say, a lot of bulimic women are of average weight and there are certainly anorexic women that claim to be naturally thin. There were a few girls that were clearly starving but not many girls 'come out' of that closet- high school is the most hyper-judgmental environment in the universe.
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
Both of my best friends in high school had eating disorders. One is probably still receiving treatment for bulimia whilst the other was anorexic. We had at least one girl sectioned for anorexia too in the year. This was nearly 10 years ago. I imagine eating disorders are much more prevalent now.
darkoblivion darkoblivion 7 years
I went to a high school in a small town in KY so no, eating disorders were not prevalent at all. I only remember one girl having one and people seemed to shun her because of it. I didn't know her so I can't really comment on her situation. You were more likely to see kids putting down fit/healthy girls because in KY, there are quite a few overweight teens. Imagine that.
biarose biarose 7 years
Why do so many people feel the need to post, 'I had an eating disorder'. The question was, what was it like at your school? Not whether you struggled with one. Girls just seem to love to talk about their eating disorder.
I had no idea this was so prevalent. It makes me so sad to think that so many young women suffer from anorexia. I don't know anyone in highschool who had an eating disorder, maybe overeating, but that seems to have been more of a social problem in a community where being fit is not valued and people were generally poor. Like insanitypepper our problems were violence, pregnancy and drug abuse. Once I got to college though, and the socio economic status of my peers changed, yes I did notice a lot of girls who were probably anorexic or bulimic, and it was such a shock to me.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I went to high school in a small high school in Wisconsin, so no, eating disorders were NOT prevalent. My friends were all thinner than I was, but they were like that because they actually ate healthy food and were on sports teams. I knew of a couple of girls that were anorexic, but everyone kind of knew who they were and felt sorry for them. I would say that EDs were WAY more common in college than they were in high school. When you're in high school, especially if you live in a small town, you're often a big fish in a little pond and when you go to a prestigious university, you're among a lot of "big fishes", so you turn to disordered eating as a way to cope with the stress of the academics and to make yourself stand out among the other girls on campus. A lot of girls probably figure "Well, I'm not the smartest person in class anymore, maybe I can be the thinnest". It's really sad.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
Eating disorders weren't really part of my high school's problems. We dealt mostly with teen pregnancy, gang violence, and drug abuse.
Nadia24gv Nadia24gv 7 years
Some of the really airheaded cheerleaders were bulimic. They had cuts all over their knuckles. Lol, losers.
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
I know that people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds fall prey to eating disorders, but coming from an all Black school in a poor neighborhood, hardly anybody had an eating disorder. Most girls wanted the big boobs and big butt, so if they had to sacrifice having a little bit of a stomach pooch to get that, they didn't mind.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 7 years
I was anorexic and bulimic since I was in middle school. I have tons of fillings in my teeth because the stomach acid ate my enamel. I regret it so much and its a daily struggle to not go back to my old ways. There were at least a dozen girls at my high school who had eating disorders. None I know of were hospitalized though.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Yes, it was. It was also prevalent in college, too.
kia kia 7 years
I have no idea. I was bulimic as a track athlete so had my head so far up in my own issues I didn't notice (or maybe I avoided) what was going on with other folks.
doogirl doogirl 7 years
I graduated high school in 1993, so it was the beginning of the trend of eating disorders. Not to make light of such a serious topic though. I remember the daughter of friends of my parents had anorexia in the late 80's and I couldn't understand why she was so skinny and why her Dad was pushing so hard to go get ice cream. In high school there was one girl that was anorexic, I would take her every day to get fat free frozen yogurt because I knew at least she was putting that in her body. Then she switched to bullemia. It was sad. My sister had a problem with food, she swears up and down she wasn't anorexic, but she probably was. It's a horrible disease.
TinaDenali TinaDenali 7 years
Me and I think two other girls in my high school had eating disorders. And yes, it is a life-long battle, the mental part of it never goes away.
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