Eating disorders can be an extreme illness found in anyone, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation. However, most eating disorders being during adolescence. The sooner an eating disorder is caught, the higher chance there is of recovery. Unfortunately, if not treated, eating disorders can be deadly.
20 million women and 10 million men will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. There are three major eating disorders, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is classified by an extreme weight loss. In many cases, it is accompanied by a distorted body image. To be diagnosed with anorexia, the following must occur:

  • Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health.
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
  • Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is an eating disorder that is identified by binge eating followed by purging. It is often accompanied by distorted body image, as well as other types of behavior that are harmful to oneself. In order to be diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa, the following must occur:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
  • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g. within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
  • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g. a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise.
  • The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.
  • The disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of Anorexia Nervosa.

Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder is one of the newest recognized eating disorders, but although new, that does not make any less life-threatening. It is classified by extreme overeating, accompanied by an inability to stop eating. In order to be diagnosed with BED, one needs to have the following symptoms:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
  • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
  • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

The binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

  • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
  • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
  • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
  • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
  • The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

National Eating Disorders Association 

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