When your relationship with food or obsession with body image interferes with your life, you may be suffering from an eating disorder. Eating disorders involve destructive patterns of restrictive dieting, purging, exercising, and binging that lead to serious physical and psychological consequences. Recovery is most possible when an eating disorder is identified early, treated by trained professionals, and when treatment is supported by close friends and family.
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If the information you receive suggests an eating disorder, share with the person that:
From N.E.D.O. (1991) A Five A Day Lesson Plan On Eating Disorders.
Eating Disorders may look very different from person to person. The following is for reference only, not to diagnose anyone.
Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa are unwilling to maintain the weight that is considered normal or expected for their age and height. Less than 85% of the normal weight is often used as a guide. The individuals with Anorexia Nervosa display excessive fear of gaining weight even though they are often severely underweight.
Although there are variations in behavioral patterns for individuals with Bulimia Nervosa, a typical episode involves consuming a large amount of food that would be considered as excessive under normal circumstances. Then behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, severe calorie restriction, or excessive exercising follow the overeating in an attempt to compensate for calorie intake.
Individuals with Binge Eating Disorder binge eat but do not regularly engage in behaviors to compensate for over eating to control their weight. A binge eating episode is often described as rapid consumption of food with a sense of loss of control, uncomfortable fullness after eating, and eating a large amount of food when not hungry. The feelings of shame and embarrassment often follow binge eating. Binge Eating Disorder is often associated with obesity.
Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a variety of factors, including physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social issues. Media images that help to create cultural definitions of beauty and attractiveness are often acknowledged as being among those factors contributing to the rise of eating disorders.
...The AMA this week formally denounced retouching pictures and asked ad agencies to consider setting stricter guidelines for how photos are manipulated before becoming advertisements. "We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software," said AMA board member Barbara McAneny.