Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for...Eating Disorders

Controversial Song of the Day: "Eet" by Regina Spektor

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.

We all have to eat. Some of us enjoy doing it so much that we create our daily schedules based on our meals *coughs* Pam and Quita *coughs*. But believe it or not, there are several people who don't partake in the pleasures and joy of food and eating like others. These are the people that we identify as having an eating disorder. There are various types of eating disorders; however, Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, and Binge-eating disorder are the most common. (taken from a Bing article sponsored by MayoClinic.com)

Did you know...?

*Anorexia nervosa is estimated to affect 1 in 100 adolescent girls

*The approximate age when young girls become anorexic is 13.75, and the range is 10 to 25 years old

*About 6% of girls between 13-19 are thought to have Bulimia nervosa

*76% of people with eating disorders began their disorder between 11 to 20 years of age.

Statistics taken from: teeneatingdisorders.us and teenhelp.com

The numbers may not be as shocking as some of the other stats we've given you this week, but in my opinion even 1% of the population being afflicted with an eating disorder is more than enough. These stats show that eating disorders exist and there are people who suffer from it--which means authors should not be afraid to write about it.

In Pam's novel, Wants, one of her characters suffers from a slight eating disorder. Her teen character is a dancer, with pressure from her mother to be the perfect size. As educators, we are all to aware of teen girls feeling pressure to look like the "perfect" women they see on TV and in magazines. We need writers, like Pam, to put a face to eating disorders, make teens aware that there are people who suffer just like them, and give them possible solutions to this growing problem.

So, while we wait to thumb through Wants, what other novels can you read that shine a light on eating disorders?

*Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

*More Than You Can Chew by Marnelle Tokio

*Skinny by Ibi Kaslik

*Perfect by Natasha Friend

*Kim: Empty Inside: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager by Beatrice Sparks

What do you all think about eating disorders in YA--is it something that definitely should continue to be discussed? Did we miss a book that we should have on this list?


Rachel said...

I used to have an ED, so I've never actually read WINTERGIRLS by LHA. I really wish the book had come with a trigger warning. I'd read the first two pages and had to stop. I do think writing about this subject is really important but publishers should be wary that these types of books can trigger EDs back into a person's life if they are not careful, etc. I was smart enough to put down the book and walk away (I do love LHA in general so I am sure its a great book), but I don't know if others will be able to etc.

I think there is also a new book called SKINNY about a girl who faces obesity - not exactly an ED but she goes through gasteric bypass surgery...

Rachel Bateman said...

BEING SIXTEEN by Ally Condie addresses eating disorders - the main characters little sister, whom the MC is very close with - suffers from bulemia. It's a great book (obviously target to LDS teens - it's published by an LDS publisher - but not preachy), written in that clean, compelling style Ally shows int he MATCHED series.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I can't imagine the pain a 13-year-old is going through to develop an eating disorder. Thanks for the spotlight. New follower
- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

Em-Musing said...

My granddaughters are already saying they're fat...they 7 & 9. They don't get this from home, but where? Sad that in such a country of plenty, many still have to suffer.

cleemckenzie said...

This is ONE SUPER IMPORTANT topic, and E is the perfect letter to set out the facts. Great job!

Gina said...

It is a very sad thing to see a person suffer with this disorders. My sister and, to some degree, me suffer from bulimia and anorexia. The worst thing is that you can get better but that voice inside your head will never go away, no matter how much you work to get better. Another thing that most people don't know is that eating disorders are not about food, they're about control. Since there is so much in our lives we can't control, the way some people react is to excerpt control over the few things we actually can. Food, in these cases.

Great post! Thanks for stoping by my blog.
From Diary of a Writer in Progress

Emily Moir said...

Eating disorders certainly have their place in YA. It's great to see authors willing to take on the less desirable toils of teen life. So many focus on the shoddy high school romance and teen angst but miss out the darker, taboo topics.

On a side note, the band Silver Chair did a song back in either 1999 or 2000ish (it's on their Neon Ballroom album) called Anna's Song. The song is a take on the lead singer's battle with anorexia. I feel that mediums like this are so important for young minds that feel all alone in their dark times.

Cheyanne said...

I can't add any books to the list, but I definitely agree that this is a topic that should be addressed to teens more, before they have the chance to develop an eating disorder.