What Are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are psychological conditions that affect your relationship with food. Each one involves serious changes in your normal eating behavior. These changes can be actions like eating much less than normal, compulsively overeating, engaging in harmful compensatory behaviors, or having extreme obsessions about your body shape or weight. Eating disorders do not discriminate based on age, gender, wealth, job status, sexual orientation, ability, neurodiversity, body shape and size, race, or ethnicity. They are capable of affecting anyone, and require ongoing support and, in some cases, medical treatment to recover from.
Each type of disorder often has serious emotional and physical consequences on the affected person. While 60% of the contributing factors stem from genetics, your genes alone can’t predict if you will develop an eating disorder. If you think you may have an eating disorder, taking the first step to learn more is important.
Some common types of eating disorders include: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED), Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), and Pica.
Who develops eating disorders? Do eating disorders affect certain types of people?
Eating disorders can affect anyone. People of all ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses, shapes and sizes, sexual orientations, abilities, neurodiversities, races, and ethnicities can experience an eating disorder.
Are eating disorders common?
Eating disorders are not rare occurrences. Over 29 million Americans experience a clinically significant eating disorder during their lifetime.
Are eating disorders deadly?
Eating disorders have the 2nd highest mortality rate of any mental illness, with nearly 1 person dying every 52 minutes as a direct result of their illness.
Are eating disorders more common in women?
Women tend to be more likely to develop eating disorders than men, but both sexes can develop them. 13% of women over the age of 50 have symptoms of an eating disorder.
Are comorbid mood disorders related to eating disorders?
30-50% of individuals with Anorexia Nervosa, nearly half of those with Bulimia Nervosa, and nearly half of those with Binge Eating Disorder have a comorbid mood disorder.
Do people get treatment for eating disorders?
Yes, some do. But only about one third of people who have an eating disorder ever receive treatment.