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Victoria Gattis
English IV
10 November 2016
Treatment, Risk and Healthcare Cost for Body Image
Throughout the world individuals suffer from body image issues such as eating disorders
and linked mental illnesses that have discouragement of their bodies. Many people and families
are left with excruciating pain, with the thought of there not being any cure, or treatment for their
loved ones. Also, some fear that treatments such as therapy and counseling can be to costy and
unaffordable for those who do not have insurance coverage or benefits.
Body image has many effects on the human body. People suffer physically, mentally, and
emotionally. Among the physical consequences of anorexia and bulimia, individuals do not
consume enough of nutrients, which can cause dehydration, digestive problems, and tooth decay.
According to Eating Disorders, people with anorexia may also have risk for heart disease and
hormonal changes that can cause bone loss and decay, retarded growth, and absence of
menstruation. Young women who suffer from Bulimia is at risk for gastrointestinal
complications as extreme as stomach rupture (Litman). Eating disorders is a major cause of
death among females from fifteen to twenty four year olds (Eating Disorders). Individuals who
battle eating disorders may experience depression, low self esteem, and unsuccessful
relationships.However, there are many different types of treatment such as medical care,
psychological and nutritional counseling, support groups, and sometimes medication.
Another issue with body image is health care cost and insurance coverage. When body
image issues get to a certain extent and has to receive treatment, there are many cost, and

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concerns to deal with. Unless individuals have faced body image issues in their families, it is
difficult to describe the upheaval and pain that accompanies mental illness. To reduce spiraling
costs, insurers often look at mental health benefits as the first place to cut (Menaged). Each
course of treatment, and cost varies with each patient. Some people may require just one on one
talk with a therapist or counselor, which is a fairly expensive component in the treatment mix. It
is important to have insurance, because out of pocket cost adds up and is way too expensive for
an individual to pay. However, some insurance companies have barriers built up, and claim that
they should not have to pay and cover cost for eating disorders because they believe that is not
considered a mental illness. Also, they believe that it is not their responsibility and should not be
accountable for the faults of individuals that suffer with eating disorders. Laws such as MHETA,
does not require insurance companies to have a co-payment on eating disorders.
Eating disorders are very unhealthy behaviors that relates to food and body weight. The
different types may involve with a severe reduction of food intake, or excessive overeating. It is
important to understand the risk, and dangers that come with the issue. Treatments, such as
medical relief, and counseling are very expensive. It is critical to have the right insurance to
reduce out of pocket pay. There is always a chance in an individual's lifetime to be diagnosed
with eating disorders that could also be contributed to numerous of things such as anxiety and
depression ,and should always be taken serious.

Works Cited

"Eating Disorders." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

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Litman, Leah. "Effective Treatment for Eating Disorders Depends on Increasing Insurance
Coverage." Eating Disorders. Ed. Viqi Wagner. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007.
Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Starving for Treatment." Harvard Perspective. 2002.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
Menaged, Samuel E. "The Managed Care Approach to Health Care Blocks Access to Mental
Health Treatment." Mental Health. Ed. Ann Quigley. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007.
Current Controversies. Rpt. from "Obstacles to Accessing Mental Health Care." USA
Today Mar. 2003: 30. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.