Eating disorders are a psychological illnesses in itself and it messes up your life. For women who have this condition, it not only spoils their appetite, it also spoils their chances of earning money, this according to a new study by experts.
Published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, 166 men and 454 women were diagnosed with an eating disorder or with disordered eating, and discovered that the women in the study were “at a distinct disadvantage when trying to achieve socioeconomic independence in early adulthood,” in comparison to the average American woman.
In the study, 13 percent earned less and their chances of owning their own home were 27 percent lower. They also were lesser educated.
But the men in the study, with similar eating disorders, on the other hand, did not experience the same negative concerns.
Jennifer Tabler, the study’s lead author and a PhD candidate at the University of Utah said, “My suspicion is that girls who are preoccupied with weight and appearance and insecure at very young age, that follows you. Your decision-making process about your life choices are going to be affected by it.”
Women not only tend to have eating disorders compared to men, but women also suffer more negative consequences past the apparent mental and physical effects.
The difference lie in the way our society continuously tells women that their worth as humans is entangled with their appearance. We live in a culture that stresses the importance of good looks, but men are not as concerned about their appearance, the way women are. Which means, women who have eating disorders might be more than likely to have a negative perception of their bodies, and of themselves, compared to their male counterpart. And this factor, in turn, has an adverse effect on their career prospects.
All the more reason that body diversity and body acceptance should be promoted in our culture, as it is tremendously unfair. In the meantime, we need to do a better job in support and treatment of women who grapples with these issues. Because eating disorders are problem enough on its own without interfering with your professional life as well.