Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Harmful dieting on the rise among young women
減肥不當 十九歲妹暴食症上身

A doctor of traditional medicine uses acupuncture to help a woman lose weight at Shuang Ho Hospital in Taipei on May 18, 2010.

Photo: Pan Hsing-hui, Liberty Times

A 19-year-old woman excessively concerned about her weight eventually became anorexic, but was unable to control her appetite because she was also bulimic. Doctors say that people with similar eating disorders should undergo psychotherapy in order to control their symptoms.

Upon starting college, the 19-year-old, going by the alias Hsiao Chen, was concerned about her physical appearance and thought that her waist was too big and her legs were too fat, so she would often only eat one meal per day, or merely drink beverages. Her inappropriate dieting, however, typically led to bouts of gluttony after days of fasting. She would often eat a bowl of beef noodles, a large pizza and a fast food meal all in one sitting.

Hsiao Chen soon became anorexic due to overwhelming feelings of guilt from eating too much, and constantly thinking of ways to make herself vomit after eating, it soon turned into a vicious cycle. After her parents found out, they took her to a doctor.

Liang Kuei-yu, a doctor at Wei Gong Memorial Hospital’s Psychotherapy Center, says that bulimia is a common eating disorder, adding that more than 90 percent of bulimics are female and that it usually occurs during adolescence and early adulthood. Over the past several decades, the prevalence of bulimia has gradually increased, usually occurring among dance students, models and people working in stressful jobs, she says.

Even though bulimics might work hard to control their diet, as soon as their willpower is compromised it is easy for them to fall back into a negative spiral of overeating, induced vomiting and fasting, which in some cases can lead to harmful behavior such as self-harm, drug abuse, alcoholism and kleptomania, Liang says.


1. gluttony n.

暴食;貪吃 (bao4 shi2; tan1 chi1)

例: Your gluttony makes me feel sick.


2. guilt n.

有罪;犯罪;過失 (you3 zui4; fan4 zui4; guo4 shi1)

例: Psychopaths typically lack any sense of guilt for the crimes they commit.


3. vomit v.

嘔吐 (ou3 tu4)

例: Copernicus drank until he vomited last night again.


The first step to recovery, Liang says, is reducing improper dietary habits. She suggests consulting a psychiatrist or psychologist first, using psychotherapy before adding the appropriate medication to build an integrated therapeutic approach that will effectively control the symptoms.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)








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