What are Eating Disorders?
An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food. Your food intake can become an obsession and make you ill.
Tween girls, adolescent girls and young women are the most likely to be associated with an eating disorder, but it can also affect prenatal and postnatal women, middle aged women, menopausal women and elderly women. Family members are also affected.
Signs and symptoms of eating disorders include spending a lot of time worrying about your weight and shape, eating very little, eating too much, exercising too much, making yourself sick or taking laxatives after food and mood changes.
There are several types of eating disorders:
This is the most well-known but actually the least common eating disorder. Food intake is severely restricted, and symptoms include being very underweight and having a distorted body image.
This is binge-eating followed by purging. Bulimia sufferers tend to have a relatively normal weight rather than becoming underweight.
Binge Eating Disorder
This is when a person is unable to control their food intake – eating a lot all at once and then feeling shame or guilt. There is no purging. People with BED are often overweight.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder
This is when your symptoms don’t match any of the above, but it doesn’t mean it’s less serious.