Eating disorders are a series of psychological conditions that lead to the development of unhealthy eating habits. They may start with an obsession with food, weight, or body shape. In severe cases, eating disorders can lead to serious health consequences, and can even lead to death if left untreated. People with eating disorders may have multiple symptoms. However, most include clearing behaviours such as strict food restriction, overeating or vomiting or excessive exercise.
Although eating disorders can affect people of any gender at any life stage, the most common are teenagers and young women. In fact, as many as 13% of young people may experience at least one eating disorder by the age of 20.
Personality traits are another reason. In particular, neuroticism, perfectionism, and impulsivity are three personality traits, which are usually associated with a higher risk of eating disorders. Other potential reasons include the perceived pressure of weight loss, cultural preferences for weight loss, and exposure to media that promote this ideal. In fact, certain eating disorders seem to be almost non-existent in cultures that have not been exposed to the Western concept of weight loss. In other words, the culturally accepted ideal of weight loss is very common in many parts of the world. However, in some countries, few people end up with eating disorders. Therefore, they are likely to be caused by a variety of factors.
common Eating disorders
- Binge-eating, which is out-of-control eating. People with binge-eating disorders keep eating even after they are full. They often eat until they feel very uncomfortable. Afterwards, they usually have feelings of guilt, shame, and distress. Eating too much too often can lead to weight gain and obesity. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
- Bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia nervosa also have periods of binge-eating. But afterwards, they purge, by making themselves throw up or using laxatives. They may also over-exercise or fast. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight.
- Anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia nervosa avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. They may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. Anorexia nervosa is the least common of the three eating disorders, but it is often the most serious. It has the highest death rate of any mental disorder.
Eating disorder prevention tips
- Getting rid of a particular diet, weight, or body type will automatically bring happiness and satisfaction. You are more than just the way your body looks.
- Learn everything about anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and other types of eating disorders. True awareness will help you avoid judgments or wrong attitudes about food, weight, body shape, and eating disorders. This will also help you understand the signs of potential eating disorders so that you can find the problem early and seek treatment.
- Choosing to challenge weight loss and weight loss is great, body fat and weight gain are terrible or indicate lazy, worthless, or unethical misconceptions. It may be helpful to go into treatment or counselling to see the source of these thoughts and why they are there. In particular, cognitive behavioural therapy may be beneficial because it helps to reconstruct negative thoughts more positively.