About Eating Disorders
For many people, food is more than just nourishment for the body. Eating is a way to bond with friends, express control and provide comfort during times of sadness. Unfortunately, eating for reasons other than physical hunger can lead to the development of an eating disorder.
Diet addiction is a new term used to describe people who jump from one fad diet to another without ever stabilizing their weight or learning healthy eating habits. This destructive behavior has negative health consequences and can even contribute to the development of more serious eating issues. Persons suffering from anorexia use a refusal to eat as a way to cope with more serious emotional problems. They have a distorted self-image and refuse to recognize the physical signs of hunger. Treating this illness generally requires hospitalization and intensive therapy. Persons suffering from bulimia will consume large amounts of food with little or no visible weight gain due to their purging or compulsive exercising. This disorder is four times more common than anorexia and more difficult for friends and family to spot due to the lack of highly visible symptoms. Bulimia must be treated with nutritional counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. People who struggle with compulsive overeating eat when they're not hungry and use food to deal with stress or anxiety. They are often overweight, and many suffer from various obesity-related medical conditions. Most have tried many different diet plans, but they have found it difficult to stick to plans that don't address the psychological issues associated with food addiction. People suffering from compulsive overeating often find joining Overeaters Anonymous helps jump start the recovery process.
In this category, you'll find the information you need to recognize the signs of an eating disorder and begin an appropriate treatment plan.