Eating disorders affect around 30 million people in the US.
These conditions are about more than just food.
In fact, they are completely overwhelming and can have a huge impact on careers and relationships as well as health. Many patients connect them to their self-worth.
In this post, we’ll give you a few eating disorder facts to break down this complex issue.
Read on to find out what eating disorders there are, what risks they carry, and how to treat them.
Society’s unrealistic beauty standards undoubtedly contribute to the number of eating disorder sufferers today. However, this isn’t the only cause.
They can also be caused by trauma, social issues, or even genetics.
Eating disorders don’t just affect women. Men can suffer from them, too.
Unfortunately, gender stereotypes can it more difficult for them to come forward.
These days, more and more men are speaking openly about their struggles with food. One of them is baseball player Mike Marjama, who spoke in an interview with GMA about how his eating disorder almost ended his career.
Many people only think of eating disorders as depriving themselves of food. However, it can go the other way, too.
Some people also suffer from binge eating disorder. This means that they experience a loss of control when eating, usually bingeing in large amounts of food at least once a week for three months or more.
During this time, they eat very fast and continue to do so regardless of how full they are. Afterward, they feel shame and guilt.
Overeating can be triggered by cravings, stress, or other emotions, but isn’t linked to guilt or loss of control.
That’s the main difference between binge eating vs overeating.
As well as bulimia, anorexia nervosa and binge eating, there are other lesser-known forms of disordered eating, too.
For example, there’s also avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, which causes people to only eat certain foods. This is far more serious than the standard picky eating habits commonly seen in children.
In some cases, eating disorders can lead to death.
That’s why it’s essential that they are taken seriously, rather than seen as a phase that a patient will grow out of.
According to eating disorder research, the risk of death is particularly high with anorexia nervosa.
If you or someone you know is struggling, these eating disorder facts can help you get a better understanding of the condition.
However, it’s important that you seek the right treatment, too. Sometimes, tackling the problem on your own simply isn’t enough.
Instead, you can get counseling the get to the root of the problem. If you want a more intensive solution, you can check into a clinic for inpatient treatment.
You can also join a community treatment home, like Poland’s Tree of Life, where girls are fighting eating disorders together.