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More Than Food and Dieting: Understanding People Eating Disorders

Posted In Quicktake - By The Grand Canyons on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 With No Comments »

A woman only eating two pieces of vegetables With society telling people that thinner is always better, many have resorted to dieting, even though their weight is normal. Many are unsatisfied with the way they look, with some becoming obsessed with exercising and losing weight. Trouble is, taking it to the extreme can affect their physical and mental health, which may result in eating disorder.

While eating disorders affect how a person feels about food, they are more than food. They are also about the way people feel about themselves, the way they cope with their feelings and emotions, and other contributing factors. Those with anorexia, for instance, try to lose weight by eating too little or refuse to put on additional weight as they get older.

Fears and Perfectionism

Treatment centers for eating disorders note that people with anorexia and bulimia strive to be perfect, but they also have low self-esteem. They usually see themselves as fat and overweight (even with starvation efforts) and are critical about themselves. Sufferers, furthermore, have an intense fear of gaining weight and will often deny that they have a problem, especially in the early stages.

Eating Disorders and Mental Illnesses

In many cases, eating disorders are associated with mental and psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, substance use problem, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anorexia and bulimia mostly affect women, but they can also occur in some boys and men. These usually start in late teenage and young adult years.

The Role of Jobs and Cultures

Eating disorders are more common in among those with jobs that depend on beauty and looks. These include models, athletes, dancers, and gymnasts. Strong gender stereotypes like cultures that put too much emphasis on being thin in women and muscular in men may also increase the likelihood of developing an eating disorder.

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If you suspect that you or someone you know have an eating disorder, it is important to get help. The good news is, these illnesses are treatable and everyone can recover with the right support and treatment.