5 Things You Didn’t Know About Eating Disorders

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eating disorder

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, approximately 8 million people in the United States have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are a serious mental illness that often accompany stress, depression, substance abuse, and more. Individuals with an eating disorder often experience a distorted body image and become obsessed with food and losing weight. The following are some facts that you probably didn’t know about eating disorders:

  • The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) states that a new disorder, called orthorexia nervosa, is “an obsession with righteous eating”. In other words, individuals display symptoms of obsessive behavior in pursuit of following a healthy diet. People with this disorder may view every day as a chance to “eat right”, and may punish themselves if they give into food temptations by working out, fasting, or eating more strictly.
  • Eating disorders don’t discriminate. Studies have been highlighted on NEDA’s website that have shown that despite similar rates of eating disorders among non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians in the United States, people of color are less likely to seek out treatment. Studies have shown that individuals from the LGBT community are affected, low income families are affected, and more.
  • Eating disorders are not a choice. As stated on the Odyssey, most eating disorders begin by a desire to change the way a person looks; eventually, those thoughts become obsessive and a person has developed a disorder before they can control it.
  • Eating disorders affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life. Obsessive thoughts can take away time from engaging in activities, making connections with friends, and more. Many people with an eating disorder spend several hours of the day obsessing over their imperfections or how food is affecting the way they look.
  • Recovery is possible. With treatment, approximately 60% of people recover – going on to lead happy, healthy, productive lives. If you’re considering seeking treatment, it’s never too late. Therapy is a great way to learn more about your disorder and discover some newer, healthier ways to cope with the problems you are having.





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