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So, what do you think?
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Author:  Spender [ Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  So, what do you think?

Anorexia is a disease of the middle classes, says Springwatch star Michaela Strachan

So, what do you think? Is anorexia a disease (it almost sounds like a luxury in this article) of the middle class, or a first (and increasingly second) world problem? If eating disorders are caused by the application of internal control in a land of plenty, as she seems to suggest:

'I live in Africa now and there are people who cannot afford to eat, there are people starving and I did that to my body,' she said. 'But I was a product of my middle-class upbringing; it's a disgusting thing to do to your body.'

then the solution is...what, exactly? To reduce the available food supply to the "middle-class"? Is it really true that eating disorders discriminate on the basis of wealth?

I just had a perhaps similar discussion with some hostile, some sympathetic ED-focussed FB group, concerning First Nations Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has been on a hunger strike now for 25 days to protest conditions in First Nations communities and levels of poverty amongst urban Indians. Some members felt it was a slap in the face for someone to deliberately starve to squeeze money and services out of government when people struggling with eating disorders starve as a coping mechanism in the face of inadequate services and funding. Others (including me) felt it was important to distinguish political protest from mental illness.

What do you think? Are eating disorders a consequence of living in a nation where food is plentiful, or are they a mental illness? Is deliberate starvation for political reasons a valid form of protest to attain more funding and better services, or is it an appropriation of a serious and life-threatening mental illness?

Author:  komich [ Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what do you think?

Mental illness. I'm probably lower middle class now but have spent most of my life under the poverty line. My parents raised two children mostly on one fairly small income.

Author:  kkat [ Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: So, what do you think?

Anorexia is a disease of the middle classes, says Springwatch star Michaela Strachan

Interesting statement and rather insulting. I think it is clear that anorexia is a mental illness that also has a biological component. To say otherwise shows little knowledge. It is rare to choose this disorder. I remember in treatment one of the psych techs said she has met one person who did choose to go this root, however, even then I think you reach a point where it is no longer a choice if you have the underlying seeds within you of an ED. And certainly there is evidence of EDs around the world. It may be that how it manifests is different in different places.

In terms of starvation as a political statement, I would much rather see people use words then starvation simply because it can be used by anyone regardless of whether they want a positive or negative change to try and force a decision in one's favour. However, I think it is a totally separate issue from anorexia and to make it part of a the same equation is simplistic and irrelevant.

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