Whether this comes from Hollywood stars and their trendy diets or parents and other family members, the idea that being thin is equivalent to being beautiful and successful is out there.
There are even professions that demand thinness such as ballet or gymnastics.
All of these influences can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by very little food intake.
There is an extreme fear of becoming overweight despite the fact the person is already dangerously thin.
For those suffering from anorexia, looking in a mirror is like looking in a fun house mirror, no matter how thin they get, they still feel heavy, as they have a severely distorted bodily image.
Anorexia is an extremely dangerous illness and it can have brutal side effects on the body as well as the mind.
There are many side effects on the body that are caused by not eating.
The body can literally shut down because it is not getting the nutrients it needs to maintain itself and its vital functions.
During the early stages, a girl may stop menstruating regularly; this is also a sign that the body is not functioning properly.
A person suffering from anorexia will often feel weak and extremely tired; fainting is very common because the body is not given anything it can use for energy.
The side effects of anorexia on the body can be very dangerous.
The body of an anorexic may become so thin that there is no way it can keep itself warm; in this case, the body will grow a thin layer of hair over the face and arms in an attempt to stay warm.
Nails may become brittle, hair may start falling out and the skin will become very pale.
These are just some of the side effects of anorexia, but the list goes on.
There are also psychological side effects of anorexia.
The illness can greatly affect the personality of the person suffering.
Someone who was once very outgoing and social may become depressed and introverted.
Food and eating become the center of their thoughts and many times, it will be all they can think about.
Those dealing with anorexia have very low self-esteem and feel a sense of worthlessness so anorexia often leads to depression and even suicide.
Some of the more serious, long term side effects include liver damage, osteoporosis, difficulty carrying a pregnancy and even death.
Anorexia is a very complicated disease and there are many more side effects.
Eating disorders are not something that should be taken lightly because they can have serious consequences.
Anyone suffering from these side effects of anorexia should have treatment as soon as possible, as it could end up saving their life.