Are eating disorder memes necessary? (5 funny memes on eating disorders)

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In this worksheet, we will look at eating disorders and trending memes in order to understand if they are necessary or just a means of provocation. Other topics included in this article include; types of feeding and eating disorders, coping skills and stats concerning eating disorders

Are eating disorder memes necessary?

Yes, eating disorder memes are necessary. Viewing memes from different perspectives can render them either helpful or provocative. In this case, a negative perspective will result in a different understanding of the meme as compared to a positive one. This article will look at how memes can be a source of comical relief, eating disorders, education, motivation, and inspiration.  

What are eating disorders? 

Eating disorders are mental illnesses characterized by abnormal eating habits, and complex and damaging relationships between food, exercise and body image that impairs physical and mental health.

Eating disorders are also known to cause death. In fact, about one person dies every hour as a direct result of an eating disorder. (Eating Disorders Coalition, 2016). We will learn more on eating disorders using eating disorder memes.

Types of eating disorders discussed in memes

According to the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders fifth edition (DSM-5), there are six types of eating disorders. Obesity is no longer included as an eating disorder since it results from long-term excess energy intake relative to energy expenditure. 

A range of genetics, physiological, behavioural, and environmental factors that vary across individuals contribute to the development of obesity; thus, obesity is not a mental disorder. (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders fifth edition 2013).

In most eating disorder memes, you will find the discussion surrounding six of the most common eating disorders.

The six eating disorders are;

  • Pica
  • Rumination disorder
  • Avoidant/ restrictive food intake disorder
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating

Pica 

Pica is a feeding and eating disorder characterized by eating non-nutritive non-food substances such as ice, clay, soil, paper and stones. Can be caused by nutrition deficiencies, pregnancy, stress and cultural factors. Eating disorder memes usually illustrate the non-food substances and the humour in their urges to consume them.

Rumination 

Rumination is an eating disorder characterized by spitting up digested or partially digested food from the stomach, re-chewing the food and either re-swallowing or spitting it out. It tends to occur within 30 minutes of every meal. The causes of rumination remain unknown. Eating disorder memes on rumination tend to focus on illustrating the urge to regurgitate food.

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.

Formally referred to as selective eating disorder, is an eating disorder characterized by intense restriction or selection of food consumed. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with this eating disorder are not interested in their body image, shape or size.

Anorexia nervosa

Is a severe eating disorder characterized by abnormal body weight, distorted body image, and unwarranted fear of gaining weight. In order to prevent weight gain, anorexic people try to control their body weight by vomiting food, using laxatives, diet aids, and excessive exercise.

Common symptoms include extreme low body weight, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, dry skin, hair that easily falls off, preoccupation with food, skipping meals, refusing to eat, denying hunger, complaints of being overweight, measuring weight often and lying about the quantity of food taken.

Causes include; biological factors such as genes, psychological factors such as temperaments and environmental factors such as societal demands. Anorexia is one of the most discussed eating disorder in memes.

Preverance

Usually begins during the teenage and early adulthood years. It is more common in women than in men.

Anorexia is the most deadly mental illness. One study found that people with anorexia are 56 times more likely to commit suicide than people without an eating disorder. (Eating Disorders Coalition, 2016).

Bulimia nervosa

Is a mental disorder characterized by binge eating (consuming large quantities of food over a short period of time) followed by calorie reducing strategies such as purging (induced vomiting), fasting or excessive exercise. 

Bulimia is a severe life-threatening eating disorder. Symptoms include; binge eating, vomiting, self-harm, fatigue, dehydration, avoiding food, irregular and absence of menstruation, constipation, heartburn and guilt.

Causes include genetic factors, psychological factors such as personality, dieting and societal pressure.

Binge eating disorder.

One of the most discussed eating disorders in memes, binge eating is an eating disorder characterized by consuming large amounts of food over a short period of time, and feelings of being unable to stop eating even when full. It is the most common eating disorder with a prevalence of  5.5%.

Symptoms include; eating large amounts of food over a short period of time, eating even when not hungry, feeling that your eating behaviour is out of control, eating until you are uncomfortably full, eating in secret, eating alone and feelings of depression and guilt.

Unlike people with bulimia, binge eaters are not concerned with weight reduction through vomiting, using laxatives or excessive exercise and can thus suffer from other physical conditions such as obesity.

It is more common in women than in men and usually begins during early adulthood. Causes include dieting and psychological issues such as depression and low self-esteem.

Eating disorders coping strategies

  • Take three deep breaths
  • Go for a 3 minutes walk
  • Name 3 things that you can see
  • Count from 0 to 100 and then 100 to 0
  • Move three parts of your body
  • Name 3 sounds you can hear
  • Name 5 things that you can see
  • Name 4 things you can hear
  • Name 3 things you can smell
  • Name 2 things you can feel
  • Name 1 thing you can taste
  • Engage in mindfulness activities such as reading funny eating disorder memes.

5 funny memes on eating disordersAre eating disorder memes necessary? (5 funny memes on eating disorders)

Are eating disorder memes necessary? (5 funny memes on eating disorders)
Are eating disorder memes necessary? (5 funny memes on eating disorders)
Are eating disorder memes necessary? (5 funny memes on eating disorders)
Are eating disorder memes necessary? (5 funny memes on eating disorders)

The memes above have not only delivered comical relief but have also described common symptoms associated with eating disorders. Besides this, the authors have also described the challenges faced by people with eating disorders. In light of this information, we can safely conclude that eating disorder memes are necessary as an alternative means of psychosocial education on eating disorders.

Conclusion

In this article, we covered what eating disorders are, discussed the six eating disorders in length as well as compiled a couple of entertaining memes that we hope you found useful to share with your friends and family. 

If you have any questions, feedback or comments, feel free to let us know.

Frequently asked questions: Eating disorder meme

What eating disorder has the highest death rate?

Anorexia nervosa is a common eating disorder with the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric diseases.

Do eating disorders shorten your lifespan?

Individuals with an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia, have a significantly higher risk of dying prematurely, compared to other people, UK researchers reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry

How do I stop being obsessed with food?

Stop focusing on what you CAN’T eat. Don’t create a list of ‘forbidden’ foods as this is only going to want to make you crave them more. The brain can only focus on one this at a time. So start thinking about the foods you add into your diet. (Cohen, n.d.)

How long does eating disorders recovery take?

While eating disorders can be lifelong, with the right care, you can get into recovery in four-eight weeks.

How many calories do you lose when you throw up?

FACT: Research has shown that vomiting cannot get rid of all the calories ingested, even when done immediately after eating. A vomit can only remove up to about half of the calories eaten – which means that, realistically, between half to two-thirds of what is eaten is absorbed by the body. (CCI, 2018)

What are 3 examples of disordered eating behaviors?

  • Signs and symptoms of disordered eating may include, but are not limited to:
  • Frequent dieting, anxiety associated with specific foods or meal skipping.
  • Chronic weight fluctuations.
  • Rigid rituals and routines surrounding food and exercise.
  • Feelings of guilt and shame associated with eating.

Citations

American Psychiatric Association, (2013). Eating disorders in Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders (5th edition). American Psychiatric Association.

CCI. (2018, January 25). Eating Disorders Information Sheet – 30 – Vomiting and Your Health. Centre for Clinical Interventions. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/-/media/CCI/Mental-Health-Professionals/Eating-Disorders/Eating-Disorders—Information-Sheets/Eating-Disorders-Information-Sheet—30—Vomiting-and-Your-Health.pdf/ 

Cohen, L. (n.d.). How to stop obsessing over food + get healthy – The Nude Nutritionist Blog – Deliciously Free of BS. Lyndi Cohen. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://www.lyndicohen.com/blog/stop-obsessing-food-reduce-guilt/ 

MEME. (n.d.). 25+ Best Anorexia Memes | Was Memes. MEME. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://me.me/t/anorexia

Memes Donkey. (n.d.). Eating disorder Memes. Memes Monkey. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://www.memesmonkey.com/topic/eating+disorder  

Single care team. (February, 15, 2022). Eating disorder statistics 2022. The check up by single care. Retrieved from https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/eating-disorder-statistics/

Rose, H. (May, 6,2022). Ed memes. Pintrest. Retrieved from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/616993217680126660/

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