In the US alone, there are 20 million women and 10 million men that suffer or have suffered from a clinically diagnosed eating disorder, at some time in their lives according to NEDA. The National Eating Disorder Association also reports that eating disorders are not fads, phases or lifestyle choices. Explore the essential Eating Disorders Facts!
They are serious conditions some becoming life-threatening, that will affect the emotional and physical well-being of that person if not treated. You may know someone that struggles with an eating disorder, bodily image dissatisfaction or poor eating habits. Knowing the facts about eating disorders, will help to understand the condition and to learn how to help.
The Monster Under My Bed
Knowing you have an eating disorder is the first step, if you are not sure there are significant signs and symptoms that are recognized as clinical symptoms. They involve self criticism, negative thoughts about your body and food. Poor eating habits that are affecting your body functions, and your daily activities. These symptoms, if not treated properly will become the monster under your bed.
Learning eating disorder facts is the best defense, seeking medical help is necessary in most cases. The earlier treatment is given, the greater the outcome of physical and emotional recovery. Therefore, putting the monster under your bed-to rest!
Types of Eating Disorders
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorder
- EDNOS-Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Anorexia Nervosa slowly causes self-starvation, as the body is denied the essential nutrients it needs to have normal function. Decreasing all bodily systems to conserve energy, which results in:
- Muscle loss/weakness
- Severe dehydration causing kidney failure
- Fainting, fatigue and severe weakness
Research confirms, Anorexia Nervosa has the highest rate of mortality of these disorders. It is very crucial to seek medical attention if you or someone you know suffers from these conditions. Unfortunately, for females that suffer from Anorexia between the ages of 15 and 24 the mortality rate is much higher than any other cause of death. According to NEDA, eating disorders facts and statistics from two decades prove the social pressure to be “thin” is still the main cause.
Bulimia Nervosa, a life-threatening condition that causes cycles of bingeing followed by self-induced vomiting, purging the body of the food to prevent weight gain. Bulimia causes both physical and mental symptoms. Low self-esteem related to body image, and a out of control feeling during the bingeing episodes. Other serious warning signs include:
- Excessive exercise regimen, no matter how they feel
- Unusual swelling of the cheek and jawline area
- Staining or discoloration of teeth
Bulimia is very harmful to the body, if not treated can cause serious digestive system damage. The binge/purge cycle will lead to an electrolyte and chemical imbalance in the body, causing damage to the heart and kidneys.
Binge Eating Disorder or BED is often confused with Bulimia, according to eating disorders facts the difference is the purging. Exhibiting more emotional symptoms, for instance here are binge eating disorder facts:
- Frequent episodes of consuming large amounts of food, without purging to prevent weight gain
- Strong feelings of guilt associated with the bingeing episodes
- Eating when not hungry or to a point of discomfort/pain
BED if left untreated will cause high blood pressure, diabetes melitis, and heart disease. Often associated with depression, affecting women slightly more than men and 1-5% of the population. Catching the condition before any health consequences can take place, is key to treating and beating this monster under your bed!
There is another classification of eating disorders, where the person may exhibit symptoms but does not meet all the criteria for diagnosis-this disorder is EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).
Eating Disorders, Anyone Can Have One
According to eating disorder facts and statistics, parents can prevent their children from developing these disorders by building self esteem, encouraging healthy eating and attitude toward nutrition and appearance.
While we may think eating disorders can only affect young girls and women, young boys and men are also at risk. According to kidshealth.org 1-2 boys/young men out of 100 are affected by a eating disorder, or have been at some point in their lives. More commonly Anorexia or Bulimia disorders, are found. Young children and teens will try to hide the disorder for months, even years. Until someone around them realizes the seriousness of the condition.
Eating disorders facts prove that education, medical attention, and prevention are the keys to battling this epidemic that plagues our youth. Children or adults that suffer from these conditions often have a distorted view on body image, size and weight. Maintaining a low body weight, with restriction to healthy meals by fasting, dieting or vigorous exercise routines.
Healthy Mind-Healthy Body
The pressure of fitting in can be overwhelming, keeping a healthy attitude is the key to beating the blues that comes with body image issues. Healthy eating and nutrition information, is the best defense to beating eating disorders. Learn to love yourself for who you are, not what everyone else thinks you should be! Learn about the benefits to a healthy diet, nutrition and avoid the pressure to fit in.
If you know anyone that may suffer from an eating disorder, let them know you can help. Offer information and guidance or support. Just knowing someone is there and understands, makes a difference emotionally. Most people that suffer from eating disorders, often suffer in silence. Education, prevention and emotional support are the best ways to help anyone that may have a food/eating disorder.
A healthy mind does lead to happiness, keeping a positive outlook on life helps too! Never be afraid to reach out for advice or help, there is more out there than you think. Eating disorders affect many families, children and the lives of those that are there to help. Thin-is no longer in!