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Eating Disorders
What are Eating Disorders?
       Many people may have a problem with over indulging at holidays or cravings for specific foods or deserts such as "surf and turf" or chocolates. Most people can use their will power to avoid constantly giving in to or limiting these desires.

      While the expanding waist lines of children and adults are considered a national problem, its basis is the transformation of our society from walking and biking to being transported everywhere in cars. Children who become transfixed by computers, cell phones, texting, twitting, and video games grow up to become adults are also consumed by the use (dependency) on these devices. Combined with the avalanche of ads promoting consumption of snacks, fast foods, and alcoholic beverages, the over consumption of calories and under exercising has produced a problem that requires individual will power to transform ourselves into healthier life styles.

The term "Disorder" is a medical diagnosis
      Eating disorders fall into several distinct types of illnesses that cause serious disturbances in a person's daily diet. The range of eating disorder include eating extremely small amounts of food to severely overeating. Eating disorders can affect both men and women of all ages.

     Many children are described as finicky eaters as children. Constant nagging by parents may strengthen their resolve to continue their eating habits. Parents, teachers, and coaches should be aware of the signs of classic eating disorders frequently appear during the teen years or young adulthood but may also develop during childhood or later in life. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.

     Many individuals started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control. Severe emotional distress or concern about body weight or shape may also characterizes an eating disorder.

     Eating disorders are real, treatable medical illnesses. They frequently are hard to diagnose because other illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders, may be present.

Achieving an ideal weight appropriate for males or females by height and age
    Many athletes involved in elite gymnastics, figure skating, and figure skating have pressure to conform to a widely held perception that young girls need to have the body shape of a prepubescent child.

    Some antidotal research suggests that young girls who are participating in extreme physical training regimes will have a delay in hormone changes that result in menses.    

    Unfortunately some of these athletes are verily likely to develop eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, and binge eating disorder, include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.  

    Compulsive overeating is also an eating disorder affecting some athletes who wish to bulk-up and may lead to steroids and other drugs that can have adverse mental and physical side effects.

    Eating disorders that are not diagnosed and therefore do not receive treatment can lead to permanent health damage and even death. They are not just severe dieting, but are symptomatic of serious and complex psychological illnesses that require professional help to overcome.

Myths About Eating Disorders

Source -




Only teenage girls suffer from eating
Many eating disorders do begin in teenagers, but anyone - children, men, older women can fall victim to this terrible disorder.

You can never fully recover from an
eating disorder.
Recovery takes a long time, but with hard work and the proper treatment, it is possible to fully recover from an eating disorder.

Men with eating disorders are always gay.
A person's sexual preference has nothing to do with them developing an eating disorder.


Eating disorders are solely a problem
with food.
With all eating disorders, weight is the focus of life. By focusing on food, weight and calories, a person is able to block out or numb painful feelings and emotions. Some use food as a way to comfort them- selves. Eating disorders are not about the food. Food is a symptom of underlying problems.

Bulimics always purge by vomiting.
Not all bulimics try to rid themselves of the calories they have consumed by vomiting. Purging can take the form of laxatives, diuretics, exercising, or fasting.


You can always tell someone is anorexic
by their appearance.
Anorexics may be anywhere from 5 to 15 lbs. underweight. They look thin, but they do not have what society considers to be the "anorexic" look. Just because someone does not look emaciated, does not mean they are not anorexic or that their health is not in danger.


Anorexics do not eat candy, chocolate, etc.
Many anorexics do avoid such foods, but some do eat them on a regular basis. If an anorexic decides to only allow him/herself 300 calories a day, they may very well choose to eat candy or a chocolate bar, etc.

Anorexics do not binge or purge
Many anorexics will go on occasional binges  and purge. Some anorexics can become so fearful of any food or drink that they will purge whatever they put into their system, including water.



You cannot die from bulimia.
Bulimics are at a high risk for dying, especially if they are purging, using laxatives and doing excessive exercise. Many bulimics have died from cardiac arrest which is usually caused by low potassium or an electrolyte imbalance.
Others have died from a ruptured esophagus.

People with eating disorders do this
to hurt their family and friends.
People with eating disorders are doing this to themselves. They are usually very upset when they know the people around them are worried or hurt by their eating disorder.

Compulsive eating is not an eating disorder. It is very much an eating disorder and is just as serious as anorexia and bulimia.

Compulsive eaters are just lazy people.
Compulsive eating is a way of coping just like anorexia and bulimia are. A person is using food as a way to comfort or numb themselves, block out feelings and emotions, etc. They are not lazy! Their emotional pain is very real. They are trying to cope using the only way they know how. Like anorexia and bulimia, they need proper treatment  to overcome it. They do not need to be sent to health spas and diet clinics.

People cannot have more than one
eating disorder.
It is very common for someone to suffer with more than one eating disorder. That just proves that the eating behaviors are only the symptoms, not the problem.
Recommended Reading:

National Eating Disorders Association National non-profit eating disorders organization. Information, referrals, support, prevention, conferences, and newsletters.

Eating Disorders: MedlinePlus   Jan. 4, 2012  Directory of resources about all aspects of eating disorders from the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

Eating Disorders  Eating disorders are common among teens and kids, especially young women. Read about the warning signs, prevention strategies, and ways to help a child.

Types of Eating Disorders   A list of the different types of eating disorders from Anorexia, Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Athletica, to Orthorexia that many people suffer from.

Eating disorders and body image |  Sept. 22, 2009  Information on the different types of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

PDF Athletes and Eating Disorders:   reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk for anorexia nervosa. Though most athletes with eating disorders are female, male athletes are also at risk.

Eating Disorders in Athletes   Sept. 13, 2011  Eating disorders in athletes continue to be on the rise, especially those involved in sports that place great emphasis on the athlete to be thin.


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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