17 Jun 2022


Review of Why We Should Highlight Outstanding Contributions of Young Investigators in the Field of Eating Disorders

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

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Eating disorders have risen to be among some of the most sensitive issues in the modern age. Indeed, cases of eating disorders being reported to medical corridors have reached a historic high. As a result, researchers have taken it upon themselves to conduct extensive research about eating disorders as a way of resolving this contentious issue. Indeed, complications related to peoples’ eating patterns are many, hence prompting researchers to devise new and useful ways of conducting their studies, all in an attempt to discover new concepts of treatment. Most researchers have developed a therapy based on the discoveries they have made. This paper takes a deep insight into eating disorders as well as the outstanding contributions that have been made by young investigators in that particular field. 

Indeed, factors that contribute to eating disorders are quite multifaceted. No one factor has been attributed to the contribution and subsequent increase in the number of these diseases (Ekern, 2018). On the flipside, various elements have been associated with the development of eating disorders (Ekern, 2018) . These factors range from environmental, biological, emotional and sociological. As a result, young investigators have taken it upon themselves to conduct their research and come up with their findings (Ekern, 2018). Most of them base their analysis on some factors such as the contribution of the brain that might eventually make one susceptible to developing an eating disorder (Ekern, 2018). Additionally, they have also attempted to look at factors such as neurobiology, hormones, and genetics to eating disorders. 

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Common Eating Disorders 

Most eating disorders can be attributed to the lifestyle that has been adopted by the victims. Indeed, research has shown that unhealthy choices regarding food have fueled numerous eating cases of eating disorders that might have otherwise been avoided if appropriate measures were taken. The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. They affect both men and women. Young researchers have found out that an eating disorder can manifest itself in various ways; either through excessive food intake or inadequate food intake. 

Researchers have found out that an eating disorder may develop in an individual at different stages in life (Publishers, 2018). However, most people are likely to be affected by an eating disorder either at adolescence or during their formative years (Publishers, 2018). Conversely, the disease has also been noted to affect people who are quite older and have reached adulthood (Publishers, 2018) . The manifestations of these diseases have made it be classified as a medical illness. Therefore, medics have made great strides in developing an appropriate treatment for the ailment (Publishers, 2018). Young professionals shave also found out that eating disorders sometimes coexist with other diseases such as depression, drug and substance abuse and a plethora of anxiety disorders. 

Anorexia Nervosa 

It is an eating disorder that affected people from either gender. Those who suffer from anorexia nerves has a phobia of gaining weight and often go to extraordinary lengths to achieve an abnormal weight or body size (Publishers, 2018). Apart from that, most victims have a contorted opinion about body image and a fear of gaining weight (Publishers, 2018). Regarding that, most of them will adopt strategies that will see them skip or entirely avoid meals so that they can lose weight. They will tend to limit their food intake since they view themselves as being overweight. Long-term health effects associated with Anorexia Nervosa include infertility, heart failure, bone loss, multi-organ failure and brain damage (Publishers, 2018). At worst, the disease can lead to death if precautions are not taken during its initial stages. 

Bulimia Nervosa 

Bulimia nervosa is also among the eating disordered that have adverse effects if caution is not taken and treated early. Those who suffer from the disease tend to indulge in binge eating then engaging in counterproductive activities overtime (Ekern, 2018). Such activities are often aimed at eliminating the food that has been taken, and they include vomiting, use of diuretics or laxatives and excessive exercise (Ekern, 2018). Victims are often wary of gaining too much weight and are at times unhappy with their body shape and size (Ekern, 2018). Researchers found out that most of them indulge in binge eating and subsequent purging in secret, due to fear of being found out (Ekern, 2018). Feelings of regret, guilt, and shame make them engage in these activities in secret. Long-term effects of the disease are heart failure due to electrolyte imbalance, excessive dehydration, and gastrointestinal issues. 

Binge Eating Disorder 

Most people suffering from binge eating disorder may eventually suffer from obesity. Research has indicated that a majority of them have usually lost control over their eating (Ekern, 2018). The obesity is generally a result of a lack of compensatory behaviors such as purging or excessive exercise (Ekern, 2018). Victims may, therefore, end up suffering from conditions like cardiovascular infections that may have adverse effects on their heart functioning. 

Importance of Highlighting Outstanding Contributions of Young Investigators Regarding Eating Disorders 

Eating disorders are among the issues that have bedeviled the contemporary society to a great extent. Despite the magnitude of this contentious issue, it is quite unfortunate that those in the medical fraternity, as well as respected scholars, have differed strongly amongst themselves regarding the matter (Smith & Keel, 2017). Those in the medical fraternity have in the recent years come out in opposition and sharp criticism of their colleagues regarding eating disorders. Those who are still young in their careers are the ones that have borne the brunt of ridicule and criticism from their older colleagues in their quest to conduct extensive research concerning eating disorders. Unfortunately, most of the critics have been found to base their criticism on non-essential and trivial issues, with total disregard for the strengths espoused by the research (Smith & Keel, 2017). Professional such as Dr. Keel found out that funding for young professions who seek to research mental illnesses is limited (Smith & Keel, 2017). Reason being that those offering grants are never keen on giving financial assistance to young people. 

Such an unfortunate pattern has drastic consequences in the medical fraternity in the long term. One of them is that young professionals will find it extremely difficult to conduct surveys and do extensive research if the relevant authorities do not support them. In fact, they may end up being demoralized and lose any hope of career advancement and subsequent global recognition if such a retrogressive trend continues unabated (Smith & Keel, 2017). Secondly, the strengths of the medical fraternity are overlooked to a great extent if some in the profession continually focus on highlighting the inadequacies in the field. Thirdly, a system is created whereby junior medics and scholars are overlooked and subdued by their seniors by focusing on their shortcomings (Smith & Keel, 2017). It will eventually lead to a system where juniors are not recognized, and data from their research is not utilized in by those in the profession but also by the outside world (Smith & Keel, 2017). Insufficient research data, therefore, means that donors will not be in a position to offer grants to researchers of mental illness as opposed to their competitors (Smith & Keel, 2017). Finally, a significant blow will hit researchers if the trend continues since most of them will end up getting stuck in their current positions, hence limiting any chances of career advancement. 

Much has been done about mentorship in the field of eating disorders. Indeed, this has created a favorable environment in the area since upward mobility has been created hence giving younger people a chance to grow and achieve success. Dr. Keel has noted with impressions that older members in the profession have taken it upon themselves to mentor and educated their younger colleagues on how they can better themselves in the business. Senior investigators have been on the forefront in highlighting the strengths of studies conducted by their juniors and correcting their weaknesses. 

This study was vital in highlighting the changes that have been witnessed in the field of eating disorders. It provides an opportunity to showcase the brilliant work that has been done by those investigating eating disorders and how they can be mentored to achieve even more success in their investigations. Over the past few decades, various medical issues have brought up the need to investigate. However, that of eating disorders has been on the priority list since it affects more significant sections of the society, especially adolescents. 

Young scholars and investigators face a plethora of challenges in their quest to publish their researched data in leading journals such as the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. One of the main reasons for their lack of accessing the journal is the numerous demands required by the journals. Their primary requirement is that the authors seeking to publish their data in the journal should have impeccable work that is devoid of any blemishes. The high standards needed by the journal has acted like an albatross around the neck of many a researcher, making it a Herculean task for research to be given any publishing space. 

One of the people who underwent immeasurable pain and struggle in their hope of getting published in the journal is Dr. Keel. Her work was only accepted by the journal when she resubmitted it for the sixth time (Ekern, 2018). It had been rejected five times before they finally published the manuscript (Ekern, 2018). Her perfect career had seen her achieve a lot of things in the medical profession. For instance, the accepted manuscript was her 70 th peer-reviewed publication (Ekern, 2018). Before that, she had penned numerous papers in various journals of Psychiatry and Psychology. Therefore, young investigators need to put their best feet forward and strive to deliver the best work that can eventually be published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology

The rigorous revision and editing have since been reduced, going by the utterances and actions of the new editor, Dr. Sherryl Goodman. She has taken it upon herself to reduce the number of revisions required for submitted manuscripts as well as focusing on the following strengths and weaknesses of the work of those seeking publication (Ekern, 2018). Subsequently, the journal has recorded significant improvement in quality while at the same time it has become author-friendly due to the shortened review process (Smith & Keel, 2017). Dr. Goodman has come out in strong support of young authors by stating categorically that they will make it easier for young professionals and researchers to get a chance to be published in the journal (WebMD, 2018). She encourages those who are still young in their careers not to be afraid of the strict publication guidelines that strive to deliver quality work (Smith &Keel, 2017). Additionally, she gave them a node to submit their work to the leading journal in the category of psychology (Smith &Keel, 2017). Otherwise, if they fail to do so, those in the psychological fraternity and the outside world may end up missing on the extraordinary achievements made by researchers and scholars. 

In conclusion, it is imperative to reiterate the strides that have been made by young investigators in their research on eating disorders. Therefore, they should also be given an equal opportunity to showcase and publish their work in leading journals so that they can advance and achieve the same level of success as their senior counterparts. 


Ekern, J. (2018). Eating Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, Signs & Medical Complications. Eating Disorder Hope

Publishers, S. (2018). Eating Disorders. Sussex Publishers

Smith, P. K. (2017). Introduction to the Special Section: Why We Should Highlight the Outstanding Contributions of Young Investigators in the Field of Eating Disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology

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