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Eating Disorders- Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating. Someone with an eating disorder can appear very thin, healthy weighted or above healthy weight. It frequently appears during the teen years or young adulthood but may also develop during childhood or later in life. Eating disorders can become life-threatening if a person does not receive treatment.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people lose more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height. People with this disorder may have an intense fear of weight gain, even when they are underweight.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person binges and purges. The person may eat a lot of food at once and then try to get rid of the food by vomiting, using laxatives, or sometimes overexercising.

Anorexia Nervosa vs. Bulimia Nervosa

Prevalence in Malaysia

  • In Malaysia, there is no any concrete studies/ systematic research on the prevalence of eating disorders.
  • Estimated figure is 1% of the population having anorexia nervosa, 3% having bulimia nervosa.
  • For every 10-20 females with eating disorders, there would be one male with similar problem.
  • Anorexia nervosa usually occurs in early adolescence, about 14 years old. Bulimia nervosa happens slightly later but still within the young adult population.

Possible Causes and Risk Factors

Being female
Teenage girls and young women are more likely than are teenage boys and young men to have eating disorders.

Eating disorders are more common during the teens and early 20s compared with lesser cases at other life stages.

Family history
Eating disorders more likely to occur in people who have parents or siblings with history of an eating disorder.

Emotional disorders
People with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, and/or had any transitions that cause emotional distress (joined college, new job or a relationship breakup) may have eating disorders.

Eating disorders may occur in people who take up dieting to improve their appearance.

Eating disorders may occur in people whose job/activities favors a slim
Work – athletes, actors, television personalities, dancers, models. Sports –ballerinas, gymnasts, runners and wrestlers.

Peer pressure and media influence may fuel the desire to be thin, particularly among young girls. Western cultural environment often cultivates a desire for thinness.

Treatments and Recovery
If you suspect yourself or someone else having eating disorder(s), get it treated immediately before
it’s too late. You may see both a medical doctor and a mental health doctor for a diagnosis. They may
do various assessments such as physical exams, laboratory tests (blood and urine) and psychological
(mental health) evaluations to pinpoint a diagnosis.

Medical treatment and drugs

  • Psychotherapy is an education which helps to develop healthy habits, problem–solving skills, stress handling skills. It also helps to improve relationships and mood. Family-based therapy may also be considered.
  • Nutrition educations in which dietitians can help you achieve a healthy weight and instill normal-eating habits.
  • Medication which may helps to control urges to binge or purge or to manage excessive preoccupations with food and diet. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may also help with symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Lifestyle and home remedies

  • Practicing proper self-care during and after treatment as per doctor’s advice is crucial to maintain overall health.
  • Appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements is essential for a healthier body.

Alternative medicine

Several treatments that help to improve mood, lower stress and reduce anxiety include:

  • Chamomile tea
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Biofeedback

For yourself

  • Be realistic. The ultra thin models or actresses in popular magazines aren’t healthy bodies.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences and be a positive influence yourself.
  • Don’t visit websites that advocate or glorify eating disorders.
  • Communicate with your friends and family.
  • Learn about

For your children, relatives and friends
Encourage healthy-eating habits and avoid dieting around your children.
Family dining habits influence the relationships children develop with food. Eating meals together gives an opportunity to teach children about the pitfalls of dieting, and encourage healthy eating.

Keep an eye on computer use.
There are numerous websites that promote anorexia (commonly called “pro-ana” sites) as a lifestyle. Periodically check the computer’s history page to see what sites your child has visited.

Cultivate and reinforce a healthy body image
Talk to children about their self-image and offer reassurance that body shapes can vary. Encourage children or family members to refrain from joking about others body size.

Reach out if you suspect trouble.
If you notice a family member or friend with low self-esteem, severe dieting, frequent overeating, hoarding of food or dissatisfaction with appearance, consider talking to him or her about these issues. Reaching out with compassion may encourage him or her to recover or seek treatment.

Where to go?

  • Malaysia Eating Disorders Therapists provide counselling services by psychiatrists, psychologists, nutritionists and therapists to facilitate rehabilitation.
  • Malaysian Mental Health Association Support Group for people who have/had an eating disorder and their caregivers. They meet monthly to share stories and support each other.

Earth Day Celebration 2011

Just last week, MGC together with Dragonfly Kindergarten and Lava Kids (of TV2 fame), supported by Mines Wellness Hotel organized a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) event in conjunction with Earth Day. 20 kindy kids were invited to grace this event as they experienced first hand some gardening methods, a little observation exercise and some fun ride on the Amphibian Ride courtesy of Mines Cruise.

The kids were thought some basic gardening methods, such as seed plowing, plant watering and soil preparations. It was an exciting activity as the kids looked in amazement. This eye-opening activity allows the kids to learn first hand on how vegetables are planted and grown. After about an hour of becoming ‘farmers’, the kids had their creativity tested as they tried to design, color and stick seeds and beans to make up a whole collage picture.

As the afternoon sun rises at a 90 degree angle, the kids were treated to a ride of their lives – the Wa Wa Splash, an Amphibian motorized vehicle that goes on road as well as the water. They also got a glimpse of some wild animals living at the Mines Lake. Catfishes, tortoises, cranes, storks, monitor lizards and other animals were resting right in front of their eyes, drawing awe from every seat of the ride.

Just before the event ended, the kids gave an impromptu performance on stage as Michael Jackson’s Heal the World song was played on the PA. They sang and dance along throughout the music, a very impressive sight it was. As for the icing on the cake, the winning group with the most creative and innovative artwork from the observation exercise were presented with discount vouchers courtesy of Mines Wellness Hotel. Congratulations to Team Power Ranger!

A group photo was taken together with the hotel’s management and the kids as they bid farewell to everybody after a long and unforgettable day.

A BIG thanks to Dragonfly Kindergarten for their attendance, the Lava Kids for their coverage on the event, Mines Wellness Hotel for their undying support of such CSR programs and also the Mines Green Circle team for making this event a successful one.

Kudos to all, and two thumbs up!

a short slide show of the event

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KL hotel switches off – differently

palace of the golden horses

Palace of the Golden Horses has decided to go beyond the hour by switching off the lights of their website for 24 hours, on 26th March 2011 itself. The website will still be available for viewing but only through the eyes of a simulated torch light. “A little creativity goes a long way. Everybody is switching off the lights physically. Though it is not the most energy saving tip one can imagine, it still does save energy in the sense that the monitor screen uses less energy when it is pitch black”, the Web Designer commented through an e-mail.[]

Besides having their website all switched off, the hotel itself will be playing their role on Earth Hour by switching off unnecessary lights at the hotel. “Our sister hotel, Mines Wellness Hotel will be having a little gathering on Earth Hour, where all 3 F&B outlets at the hotel will be offering discounts and candle-light dinners on the night itself.”[]

Earth Hour will be celebrated by Malaysians at WWF’s main event in Sunway Pyramid come 8.30pm. Switch it off, go beyond the hour and let us all do our tiny role in preserving mother nature and protecting the environment.



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