by Meaghan Diaz
Millions of people are affected by eating disorders, with 90% of them being adolescent and young females. Adolescent and young women are more susceptible to developing an eating disorder because it is during that time in their lives that they try dieting. They may feel the pressure to stay slim due to sport involvement or a modelling career choice. The three types most common types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.
Anorexia (also known as anorexia nervosa) is characterized by the person starving themselves because they believe they are overweight. If the person is 15% below the normal body weight and is losing weight by starvation, he or she may be anorexic.
Bulimia (also known as bulimia nervosa) is when a person overeats and then rids his or her body of the food by vomiting, excessive exercise, or taking laxatives. Ridding the body of food in this manner is called “purging”. This common eating disorder may go not be noticeable to others because most of the time, the person does not appear to be gaining or losing a significant amount of weight.
Binge eating disorder is like bulimia in that the people with the disorder eat excessively, however they do not attempt to rid their body of the food. They eat more than the normal, healthy serving and they feel out of the control of their eating in that they cannot control their frequent urges or the amount they consume in a sitting. A binge eating episode includes 3 or more of the following symptoms: eating more rapidly than normal, eating beyond feeling full, consuming large amounts of food despite not feeling hungry, eating alone due to embarrassment about the excessive food consumption, and feeling guilty after a binge eating episode.
“Should I seek treatment for an eating disorder?” If you (or a loved one) are experiencing symptoms of an eating disorder, it is important to seek treatment to prevent medical complications in the future as a result of an eating disorder.
“What are common treatment options for eating disorders?”
Common treatment options include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy