What is an Eating Disorder?
Some Basic Facts:
Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder include: extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males.
ANOREXIA NERVOSA is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.
BULIMIA NERVOSA is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Bulimia includes eating large amounts of food, more than most people would eat in one meal, in short periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse, or over-exercising.
BINGE EATING DISORDER (also known as COMPULSIVE OVEREATING) is characterized primarily by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full. While there is no purging, there may be sporadic fasts or repetitive diets and often feelings of shame or self-hatred after a binge. People who overeat compulsively may struggle with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which can contribute to their unhealthy episodes of binge eating. Body weight may vary from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.
An episode of binge-eating is characterized by the following:
OTHER EATING DISORDERS can include some combination of the signs and symptoms
of anorexia, bulimia, and/or binge eating disorder. While these behaviors may not be clinically
considered a full syndrome eating disorder, they can still be physically dangerous and emotionally draining. All eating disorders require professional help.