Eating disorders are serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating. They also occur with feelings of distress or excessive concern about body shape or weight. The main types of eating disorders are
binge eating disorder
Eating disorders often develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but may also start during childhood or later in adulthood. Females are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder.
Eating disorders frequently occur with other psychiatric conditions, such as
. In addition, people with eating disorders can experience a range of physical health complications. While some of these are minor, others can cause serious heart conditions,
, and even death.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which you are obsessed with dieting and exercise, which leads to excessive weight loss. You are generally considered anorexic when you do not maintain your body weight at or above 85% of your expected weight.
If you have bulimia nervosa, you feel overly concerned with your weight and body image. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which you compulsively eat large amounts of food. This is called binging. Then, you use unhealthy means, such as vomiting, laxatives, or water pills, to rid your body of the food. You may also diet or engage in extreme amounts of exercise to use up calories taken in through binging.
If you have binge eating disorder, you eat excessive amounts of food within a short period of time. Episodes of binge eating are associated with at least three of the following: Eating more rapidly than normalEating until you feel uncomfortably fullEating large amounts of food although you don’t feel hungryEating alone due to embarrassment about the amount of food you eatFeeling disgusted about yourself, depressed, or guilty about your eating behavior
During an episode, you feel a lack of control over your eating. On average, binge eating occurs at least two days a week for six months. You do not purge your body of the excess calories; therefore, you may be overweight for your age and height. During and after a binge, you feel self-disgust and shame, which can lead to another binge.