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Eating disorders in the view of teenage girls from Florianópolis, Santa Catarina State: a phenomenological approach

Arlene Leite Nunes Francisco de Assis Guedes de Vasconcelos About the authors

The article aims to understand the meaning of the teenagers' experience of having ED (eating disorders), underscoring the aspects related to eating, from a phenomenological perspective. Seven female teenagers with ED being taken care in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina State, were interviewed. A categorization was made to reach the perception of the general structure of the experience, extracting the structure of the past experience. Nine signification units that assessed the life experience were identified: the representation of the food, eating habits, food that no longer were eaten, food that they had began eating, the use of soda, food choices, the composition of the meals, family eating habits and healthy food. These showed the suffering that permeates the existence of all the interviewed teenagers, whether for gaining weight, or not considering themselves thin enough, eating too much, not eating at all, forcing vomiting, taking laxatives and diuretics, trying to commit suicide, seeing the parents suffering, not feeling understood by the others, or by themselves. This research allowed us to study this phenomenon from another angle, the relation with the food, confirming how much the way our relation to food is connected to emotional matters. It also allowed showing how it is to live with an ED from the view of each of the interviewed teenagers.

Eating disorder; Psychology; Phenomenology; Nutrition; Adolescents

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