Eating disorders include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life threatening consequences for females and males.
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.
Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Bulimia includes eating large amounts of food – more than most people would eat in one meal in short periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse, or over exercising.
Binge Eating Disorder, also known as compulsive overeating, is characterized by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full. While there is no purging, there may be sporadic fasts or repetitive diets and often feelings of shame or self-hatred after a binge. People who overeat compulsively may struggle with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which can contribute to their unhealthy episodes of binge eating. Body weight may vary from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.
Other Eating Disorders can include some combination of the signs and symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, and/or binge eating disorder. While these behaviors may not be clinically considered a fully syndrome eating disorder, they can still be physically dangerous and emotionally draining. All eating disorders require professional help.
Information adapted from the National Eating Disorder Association. Permission is granted to copy and reprint materials for educational purposes only. www.NationalEatingDisorders.org Referral Helpline: 800.931.2237