National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
February 26-March 4
What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating Disorders are a form of Mental Illness that can affect anybody. Mood and anxiety disorders often co-occur with Eating Disorders as well. Unstable eating habits and obsessing over body weight is what an Eating Disorder is. Factors that cause an Eating Disorder can be biological, psychological, and/or sociocultural. Eating disorders can have damaging effects on the body such as mental effects, health effects, and physical effects.
Different Types of Eating Disorders
Binging, purging, or restricting food intake are certain effects Eating Disorders cause. Three of the most common Eating Disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.
- Anorexia Nervosa: is when a person has the fear of gaining weight. This can also be when a person refuses to maintain their current body weight because they believe they are overweight and/or have an unrealistic body image in their mind of what they should look like. All these factors that are developed, creates the person to limit their food intake.
- Bulimia Nervosa: is when a person chooses to vomit, over exercise, or use diuretics in result of overeating or binging. A person who has Bulimia Nervosa also has the fear of weight gain and are unsatisfied with their body.
- Binge Eating Disorder: this type of eating disorder is when a person constantly binges when they intake their food. With this type of eating disorder, a person loses control of how much they are consuming. Unlike Bulimia Nervosa, an individual with this disorder does not do anything in result of binge-eating.
Who is at Risk
- Biological Risk Factors
- Has had an Eating Disorder in the past or their relatives have
- Mental Health Disorders within the family
- Being female increases the risk of having an Eating Disorder
- Dieting history
- People who consume less calories than they burn throughout their day
- Psychological Risk Factors
- Having unrealistic and high expectations
- Disliking their appearance
- Have anxiety, Social Phobia, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Social Risk Factors
- Advertisements can make thin seems like the ideal body image
- Social Anxiety
Warning Signs and Symptoms
- Noticeably underweight
- Consistently gaining and dropping weight
- Obsessing over calorie intake
- Making but not intaking food
- Withdrawing themselves from others
- Switching between overeating and fasting
Talk to a friend, parent, or help professional about how you feel about your body. A National Eating Disorder Helpline is also available: 1-800-931-2237.