Healthy Weight 


  What are eating disorders?

Food is an important part of life. Your body needs it to grow, think, breathe, and play. Food is your body's fuel! 

Food can also mean many different things to some people. Sometimes food means "Happy Birthday" when you're eating your birthday cake or "Happy Thanksgiving" when you're eating that big holiday meal. Sometimes, though, food can begin to take on a new meaning. Food can mean covering up a feeling or food becomes comfort. Sometimes not eating means more control.

Feelings of anger, sadness, or loss of control are often dealt in an unhealthy way by eating differently. A person's way of eating can begin to harm them. This is called an eating disorder. The different eating disorders are described below.

  Anorexia Nervosa

This type of ED involves starving yourself to promote too much weight loss.  Most people with this disorder think they are fat when they are really underweight.  They have an overwhelming fear of being fat.  Anorexia can be very dangerous to growing and developing teens.  Starvation can severely damage the heart and other vital organs and can even cause death.  Also, females with this type of eating disorder sometimes do not menstruate because their weight is too low.  Check the weight calculator to see if you are underweight or if you are a healthy weight even though you think that you are overweight.  This will tell you that you are at risk for anorexia. 

  Bulimia Nervosa

People with this type of eating disorder tend to eat secretly. They usually eat unusually large amounts of food followed by purging. Purging is either vomiting or using certain medicines to make you go to the bathroom. Sometimes purging is excessive exercising or fasting. Most people with bulimia feel a lack of control with their eating yet feel better temporarily after purging. Just like anorexia, people with bulimia usually feel like they are fat even though they may be of normal weight or underweight. 

  Binge Eating Disorder

This type of eating disorder looks a lot like bulimia without the purging. People describe eating huge amounts of food usually in private. The eating tends to make some people feel better for a little while after eating. This overeating makes some people feel bad about themselves. Feeling bad makes some people turn to food to feel better again. Most people with this disorder feel out of control with their eating and food habits. 

  Getting help

These above described eating disorders may sound familiar to you. Maybe you are at risk for an eating disorder or know someone who is at risk. No one with an eating disorder should fight it alone. Eating disorders are treatable. There are many people who can help. Many health professionals understand living with an eating disorder and know ways to help regain control of life. 

Experts believe most people benefit from a group of different people to help treat an eating disorder. They may include: a therapist, a dietitian, a physician, and a psychiatrist. These health professionals can help those with an eating disorder form a healthy relationship with food. Food can become fuel again instead of a struggle. 

  Some eating disorder resources on the web
This website has the latest headlines, signs and symptoms of eating disorders, and has access to support groups. Also has links to find more information.
This site offers online support groups and links to groups in different areas for people who feel out of control with their eating.
This site describes different eating disorders in detail. It also has information for people who know someone with an eating disorder. It describes ways to seek help when struggling with an eating disorder.
This website has lots of information on the different types of eating disorders including what to do if you know someone with an eating disorder. Also includes latest statistics and links to get help.


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