An eating disorder is
an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday
diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely
overeating. A person with an eating disorder may have started
out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some
point, the urge to eat less or more spiraled out of control.
Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also
characterize an eating disorder.
frequently appear during the teen years or young adulthood but
may also develop during child_hood or later in life. Common
eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and
Eating disorders affect
both men and women. For the latest statistics on eating
disorders, see the NIMH website.
It is unknown how many
adults and children suffer with other serious, significant
eating disorders, including one category of eating disorders
called eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). EDNOS
includes eating disorders that do not meet the criteria for
anorexia or bulimia nervosa. Binge_eating disorder is a type of
eating disorder called EDNOS. EDNOS is the most common diagnosis
among people who seek treatment.
Eating disorders are
real, treatable medical illnesses. They frequently coexist with
other illnesses such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety
disorders. Other symptoms, described in the next section can
become life_threatening if a person does not receive treatment.
People with anorexia nervosa are 18 times more likely to die
early compared with people of similar age in the general