The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Detrimental dieting


In today’s day and age, we are bombarded with photos of models, professional athletes and movie stars who often have what seems to be the perfect bodies. Many young adults, are influenced by American culture and feel the need to be thin or ripped.

“I think society places too much emphasis on being thin,” senior Corinne Balicki said. “A lot of girls and women can’t actually be as skinny as models because their bodies are just built differently and that makes them feel bad about themselves.”

In response to these photos of often unattainable bodies, teens may turn to the internet and other media for advice.

Among the most common diet, crash diets and Oz-Approved 7-Day Crash Diet were the most popular when researched. This shows that today’s culture is all too focused on how to get thin and they don’t look at the repercussions that getting slim may cause.

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“Teens do not necessarily think about the serious health risks associated with dieting,” health teacher Gabe Romano said.

Extreme or consistent dieting can cause several mental health problems. Dieting can cause extreme food cravings, due to restrictions that many dieters put on their eating habits.

Many dieters also experience mood changes. People report feeling more irritable and depressed while dieting. Stemming from irritability and depression, dieters may be set up for more serious mental health disorders, like anorexia or bulimia.

Young dieters restrict their diets to the point where they cannot eat healthy foods because they may contain too many calories. Instead, they eat low-calorie junk food to help suppress the cravings they are having. This can result in major nutritional deficiencies. Many crash dieters suffer from iron deficiencies, sodium and potassium deficiencies, anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency.

Not only does one’s nutrition and mental health decline while participating in a crash diet, but one’s vital organs are in extreme danger.

Organs in the human body depend on carbohydrates to keep working. When dieting, many people don’t eat enough carbohydrates, so the organs turn to burning muscle tissue in order to have enough energy to function.

If calorie intake is low enough, then the organs may begin to burn their own muscle tissue in order to provide the brain enough energy to function. In the end, this could lead to liver failure, kidney failure, a heart attack or a stroke.

“Fad diets offer only a quick fix,” Romano said. In the end, many crash dieter end up gaining all the weight back.

It’s hard to say whether or not students at Annandale have problems with dieting. “I would say the students at AHS are no different when it comes to dieting thank kids from other high schools,” Romano said.

Many students at Annandale don’t know the health risks associated with dieting, or they don’t know enough about them.

“[The health risks depend on] what diet you’re on,” sophomore Brianna Puryear said.

“I know that it can deprive your body of nutrients, like protein, so you won’t have energy to go through the day,” Balicki said. “A lot of times people unbalance their diet so they’re not getting everything they need, they’re just focusing on one aspect so they don’t get all the nutrients that they need.”

But how dangerous is dieting? When paired with medical supervision, dieting can be a healthy way to lose weight.

“I think that dieting can be really dangerous when not done correctly,” Balicki said. “No teenager is an expert in nutrition, so it can be dangerous if they don’t safely diet.”

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    Sarah MetzelDec 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Good research! It would be interesting to see how this issue affects boys and girls differently

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