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    Today health experts have discovered that young African females in the are starving themselves intentionally [anorexia nervosa], other women are bingeing and purging {bulimia nervosa} on the campus of historical African universities, while many in corporate Nigeria are crash dieting and abusing laxatives in a dangerous, sometimes deadly attempt to control their weight. But why are African women killing themselves to be thin? What’s behind the deadly cycle of eating disorders that is quietly engulfing some in the African society?

For starters black women are no longer generally celebrated for their curves, some experts argue that for every beautiful and curvaceous Queen Latifah heralded as a standard of beauty on TV, there is at least 100 thin Jennifer Anistons, there is a growing trend of eating disorders in African girls and this is going to continue as the African culture becomes more immersed in the white European cultural values, today, it’s extremely difficult for an African girl to be insulated within the African community, so that she is not affected by the dominant society, everywhere she turns to uplifts the western culture, their so called standard of beauty, it gradually gets into her subconscious and she wants to look like the stars she sees on television.

Recent studies have shown that some sisters, commonly considered to be overachievers, are more likely to develop an eating disorder than others because of their constant quest for perfection, other sisters are plunged into eating disorders by constant dieting, according to eating disorder specialist Shikana Temille Porter, PH.D, Director of Psychology Training at St John’s Child and Family Development Center in California “every eating disorder can be traced back to a diet” Dr Porter argues “the whole diet mentality, looking to alter your body because you are trying to fit into the thin cultural ideal within the society will cause you to restrict your eating, take diet pills and laxatives and throw up, this causes havoc in your whole body system and even death”

Eating disorder can also be caused by life’s stressors and emotional trauma or tragic events, on the black living online website, Kimberly 29, says she quickly descended into a bout of anorexia after being date raped, Kimberly writes that she believed having a curvaceous body attracted the rapist, so she was determined to change her physique. “if I didn’t get rid of those curves, some boy or man was going to rape me again” she writes “I started taking over the counter diet pills, eating less and exercising more, my curves finally disappeared but my drive to keep the weight off stayed, I was obsessed with losing weight and not getting raped again, but my body was tired of the abuse, by this time, anorexia had taken over me. Kimberly also slipped into bulimia, she consumed large amount of food and then purge herself by ingesting ipecac syrup {commonly used as an emergency treatment for certain kinds of poisoning or drug overdose} to induce vomiting, as if bingeing and purging are not hazardous enough, adding ipecac syrup is especially deadly “ ipecac is hard on the heart and it weakened my heart muscles when I abused it” says Damilola Bada, an Oxford university student “I had a minor heart attack when I was 19” as with most people who starve and purge themselves regularly, Bada’s health problems are numerous “my teeth enamel is worn away {as a result of the } vomiting, and I have several teeth that are completely decayed” I also have intestinal problems; I must take medication in order to have a bowel movement.” Other health problems associated with eating disorders include malnutrition, dehydration, stomach ruptures, esophagus tears, serious heart issues and death.

Psychological effects include, low self esteem, feelings of guilt and shame and depression. Not everybody was lucky like Damilola and Kimberly, some people lost the battle and died from heart attack.

Recovering from an eating disorder entails at least three important steps:
1) Seeking professional counseling to address the underlying emotional or psychological issues that may lead to the use of food as a coping mechanism;
2) Seeking medical treatment to address the physical damage and to receive instructions on a healthy lifestyle and eating plan; and
3) Finding adequate support system to achieve and maintain a healthy and realistic body image.

Mothers, educate yourself on the signs of eating disorders, because it is more common in teenagers who are trying to look like their icons on TV, and there is a belief that African women are not prone to this disease, which in fact is a lie, there are a lot of African women out there suffering because they feel like they are not supposed to have this disorder; because it is a white girl aliment. Get involved quickly if you suspect a loved one may be afflicted by an eating disorder, sisters must refrain from judging their self-worth based on their dress size, strive for a healthy body acceptance and body esteem
Adopt healthy lifestyle practices, such as exercising and making healthy nutritional choices, that are life affirming and life sustaining.

• Deliberate self starvation with the intent of weight loss
• Intense persistent fear of gaining weight
• Refusal to eat or highly restrictive eating
• Continuous dieting
• Excessive facial and body hair because of inadequate protein in diet
• Compulsive exercising
• Abnormal weight loss
• Sensitive to cold temperatures
• Absent or irregular menstruation
• Hair loss

• Preoccupation with food
• Binge eating, usually in secret
• Vomiting after bingeing
• Abuse of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills
• Denial of hunger or use of drugs to induce vomiting
• Compulsive exercising
• Swollen salivary glands
• Broken blood vessels in the eyes
• Mood swings
• Perfectionism

Take care of your bodies



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  • Reply
    Nnebedum Nkiru bravery
    August 20, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Good morning Steph, I must confess that we that are on the thin side naturally are blessed, so women go thru all this hell just to be thin when i eat up to add up a bit hmmm!! What an irony. Tnx D̲̅ε̲̣̣̣ǎ̜̣̍® for this piece of advice.
    SL fan

    • Reply
      August 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      u eat up to add up a bit, people who do that when they add up, they want to be thin again. The ke is Contentment. We all cant look the same. as a matter of fact all or most of these models are digitally manipulated. If u see them in real life, they dont look like that. I can vouch for Victoria Secret models tho. Those ones go through all sorts of things to stay that way

  • Reply
    August 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Thanks Steph, u re d best. God bless u.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Pls, water therapy is d best for weight loss. Recently, i reduced my water intake and i started adding weight.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    This message is to stephniedaily, not a comment. Please come up with a TV show here in Nigeria that will encourage really over weight people especially girls/women to exercise & eat healthy. An exercise plan (weekly/monthly) will be great too, if possible on this blog. It’l really help, miself inclusive;-(.

  • Reply
    ojo odunayo
    October 29, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Hello sis.m here 2 show my interest in wot u wrot in ur facebuk oficia page.m interestng in acting nd i believ i cn perform greatly i cn speak english fluently,moreova m talented in singng i cn sing nd compose sngs lik hip hop,R nd B,blues iven i wud hv produce adbulm al dis while bt i dnt c spnsorship.i wil b glad only if u cn hlp me or huk me up wit sm1 dat hs a band dat i cn name;ojo odunayo,state of origin;ekiti state,nageria.,phone no;08066170395,email add.; if u nid more info about me cal me or email me nd i wil respond.i hld in prospect a chance 2 ear 4rm u soon thnks.

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