I think eating disorders is a both culturally constructed and part of a natural disease. Eating disorder is an illness in which a person goes through abnormal changes in their eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. A person with eating disorders are typically pre-occupied with food or his or her body weight. Eating disorder include illnesses such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.
Now with the new mindset of society has changed and their views on body image, the need to be physically fit and small, there has been the rise in culturally constructed eating disorders. In past time, this form of eating disorder was mostly seen in women and more so in the entertainment arenas such as modelling, sports and acting. In current society, the media portrays a beautiful woman as someone who has a perfect fit body, and for men, they have to fit with a banging 6 or 8 pack abs.
Well this way of thinking can alter many people self-esteem. Self-esteem is a self-motivated construct, like body image, which can be influence by a whole variety of factors such as parenting, childhood experiences, core personality and body image, especially in young girls and older male teens.
It is then followed by rational reduction that impacts body image will affect self-esteem and promote the risk of developing an eating disorder as a person turns to the control of their body in order to feel acceptable. If you review the statistics on the increase in eating disorders, you will see a directly relationship with the increase use of social media.
Eating disorder as natural disease are often seen in people with mental instabilities or complex medical conditions. In these cases, the eating disorder is view differently because it was causes are related to malfunction of the body system. It is very important to identify the underlying issue and fix it before trying to fix the eating disorder. This also goes for culturally constructed eating disorders as you have to modify a person views with counseling/therapy before you can treat the eating disorder.
After reading on this topic, I also noticed that the meaning of eating disorders has been constantly evolving. In the past eating disorders were only seen as someone who decrease their nutrition intake down alarming level. Well, now there are discussing about should obesity be added as a form of eating disorder. Obesity is a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems which is the result over eating. What do you think? Is obesity a form of an eating disorder?