Thursday, February 09, 2012

Eating Disorders Among our Nation's Military

Increasing evidence has demonstrated that the occurrences of eating disorders are rising among military service members, with data revealing that female service members are 4% more likely to develop an eating disorder than their civilian counterparts.  Many factors encountered within the military can influence the development of eating disorders, such as increased stress from deployment, separation from family members, and pressure to maintain an unparalleled level of finesse, to name a few.  Additionally, it is not uncommon for soldiers to engage in repetitive crash dieting before routine physical tests in attempt to satisfy rigorous weight criterions.  In a recent interview with Jennifer Beaudean, a West Point Graduate, this army veteran reveals and speaks out about her thirteen year battle with bulimia-seven of these years during her military career.  Beaudean describes the way she kept her struggle with bingeing and purging a secret for several years.  Beaudean’s testimony of her own fight against her eating disorder while in the military is a startling reminder that eating disorders are rampant and can affect anyone, even the elite who selflessly serve our country and fight for our freedom.  Continued promotion of eating disorder awareness and prevention is needed, especially to alleviate those who may be struggling in secret.  Read more here about Jennifer Beaudean and her battle against bulimia.

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