What Are the Most Common Eating Disorders?

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An eating disorder is a psychological condition that causes a person to develop an unhealthy eating habit. This can be caused by food obsessions or extreme consciousness of one’s own body shape and weight.

As much as we want to provide you with tips and recipes for delicious and healthy food, we deemed it necessary to talk about this pressing issue that lies at the very heart of what we love—food. This article will teach you what the most common eating disorders are in the hopes of preventing them from developing.

Common Eating Disorders

Any eating disorder can be caused by plenty of things, and the examples we’ve provided above merely scratches the surface. Nevertheless, it’s important to talk about these conditions as it is the only way to avoid them and find eating disorder recovery programs designed specifically for a patient. That being said, below are some of the most common eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa

Rising at the top of the most common eating disorders is anorexia nervosa, and about 9% of women in America suffer from this condition. As this is a psychological condition, people who are often underweight still see themselves gaining too much weight. This strict monitoring of their body shape eventually leads them to avoid certain foods or to eat altogether.

Bulimia Nervosa

Another prevalent eating disorder is bulimia nervosa, and it often affects people around the age of 12-25. People with this condition often eat unusually large amounts of food until they are full enough that it starts to cause them physical pain. The guilt associated with uncontrollable binge eating episodes drives them to purge what they ate through forced vomiting, laxative, or fasting. This purging is also possibly caused by the gut discomfort they are experiencing.

Binge Eating

While this condition is often mistaken for anorexia or bulimia, binge eating is a disorder on its own. The typical onset of this condition is during adolescence and early adulthood. People with binge eating disorder tend to eat large amounts of food, usually in secret, until they feel uncomfortable. Episodes of binge eating often occur even when a person is not feeling hungry. The main difference between binge eating and other eating disorders is that people with this condition do not purge what they eat.

How to Prevent Eating Disorders

Man stress eating at midnight

Seeking professional help is still the most important and effective solution in stopping any eating disorder. However, it’s also essential that you understand the dangers of lack of support from people meant to help you. This is a vital part of preventing eating disorders. If you or someone you know shows symptoms of these conditions, below are some tips on how to help them.

Promote a Healthy Body Image

Because eating disorders are psychological conditions, the treatment should also be targeted towards the source. Promoting a healthy body image is important. Understanding that a healthy body does not always mean a better appearance should be the heart of the conversation. Using hurtful words and calling people names may also contribute to a poor body image, so make sure that you refrain from using them.

Proper Eating Habits

Another important thing that must be talked about is how diet affects a person’s health. Encouraging them to eat at the right time and with the right amount is important. Understanding how these affect a person’s appearance and energy levels should also be communicated. Believe it or not, eating together with your family can help prevent or stop eating disorders. You also need to make sure that you or someone you know starts a healthy diet to reverse the damages that may have been caused by eating disorders.

Discuss Messages from Media

One major disadvantage of social media or other forms of visual consumption is their effects on a person’s body image. Messages from media have one underlying tone—you need to have a particular body shape to be accepted and recognized. This message must be diminished from a person’s mindset to prevent the onset of various eating disorders.

Foster Self-Esteem

The most common area of personality that eating disorders tend to target is self-esteem, so boosting it in a person is extremely helpful. This doesn’t just mean that you would celebrate their body shapes. Fostering self-esteem is a vast area to tackle. Respecting accomplishments and healthy relationships are some of the most important aspects of developing a person’s self-esteem.

Eating disorders are quite common in the United States, especially among women. That’s why these things must be openly discussed. Otherwise, we may not know how to prevent or find treatment for them. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms of these conditions, seek professional help immediately.

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