The "Pursuit of Perfection" can be deadly - AmericaNowNews.com

US has most eating disorder deaths

  • The "Pursuit of Perfection" can be deadlyMore>>

  • More moms-to-be struggling with "pregorexia"

    The skinny on "pregorexia"

    According to the Mayo Clinic, far more women gain too much weight rather than too little during pregnancy. But while eating for two is not recommended, dieting for two is far scarier.
    According to the Mayo Clinic, far more women gain too much weight rather than too little during pregnancy. But while eating for two is not recommended, dieting for two is far scarier.
  • Family

    "Am I Pretty" videos worry parents

    "Am I Pretty" videos become a disturbing trend

    Kids are exposed to a barrage of images every day, and experts say the message to young girls is especially clear: External appearances are everything.
    Kids are exposed to a barrage of images every day, and experts say the message to young girls is especially clear: External appearances are everything. We'll explore a disturbing online trend for teens and what parents can do to protect their kids!
Did you know the United States leads the world in deaths from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia? Nearly 10 million women and 1 million men are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder, while many others struggle with body image issues.

Like many parents, Patti has always wanted the best for her daughter Abby. In Patti's eyes, Abby's always been "perfect."
 
"Abby's a happy go lucky sort of girl.  Always been a leader not a follower...and she just marches to her own drum," said Patti.
 
"When I was told, 'you can be everything' what I heard in my mind was 'you have to be everything'," said Abby.
 
That pressure to be perfect didn't just come from her parents or herself. Experts say teenagers are surrounded by it.   
 
Dr. Brithany Pawloski is a Psychologist, and according to her, "They get so many mixed messages: be yourself...but be this way.  They're constantly getting 'fit into your prom dress!' 'here are 10 ways to fit into your bikini for the summer' and it's like 'aaaaaahhh what am I going to do with all this information'?"
 
For Abby, like many teenagers, "perfect" meant thinner. She became obsessed with losing weight and just stopped eating.
 
Experts say our modern hectic lifestyle might actually contribute to the problem. Parents are very busy, and they catch what they can to eat and the kids are the same way, they're very busy with school sports and activities, so it's easy for them to hide the fact that they're not eating at all.

Abby says, "When you have that eating disorder and that's all you want, you lie. There were ways I found to escape food."
 
Patti noticed a change in Abby's personality and her physical appearance, but when she confronted her, she denied having a problem. "It was one of her soccer games and I saw her in her uniform...and it really shocked me and that afternoon, whether it was the right thing to do you don't know, but I forced her on the scale and I said okay, we're going for help."
 
Abby got intensive therapy, living at an eating disorder clinic for three months where she learned healthier lessons about eating and body image - lessons many parents don't teach their teens at home.
 
Dr. Pawleski adds, "I don't know too many people that don't think a diet is a good idea, or aren't food conscious about something - people just talk about it like it's common, and it is common, but it does impact people and their thoughts about themselves." 
  
Patti adds, "For women, we really need to do a better job of being better role models for our kids. We cannot be so obsessed with our weight. And when we look in the mirror, we look at the bad things. No, look at the good things!"
 
It's a lesson Abby has worked hard to learn. "You realize there's so much more to life than being perfect, and trying to achieve something you're never gonna achieve."

Now she sees herself as fit and athletic - a perfectly healthy young woman.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
  • Consumer

    How much of your donations really go to charity?

    How much of your donations really go to charity?

    In the aftermath of a disaster, donations are top of mind for many people and can do a world of good! But how do you know where your money is really going? America Now investigates!
    In the aftermath of a disaster, donations are top of mind for many people and can do a world of good! But America Now learned that some non-profit organizations receive only pennies on the dollar raised through solicitation campaigns. So how do you know where your money is really going?
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
Powered by WorldNow