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Unformatted text preview: Eating Disorders: What we ALL need to know! There are approximately 2 million people in the United States who suffer from eating disorders. These eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. While the majority of eating disorder cases are in females (approximately 90%), an ever-growing number of males are also affected. What is very scary is that eating disorders are being recognized in children as young as 5 years old! In a recent survey of high school students across the United States it was found that 59% of girls and 23% of boys reported having tried at least one diet to lose weight. In addition to this alarming statistic, an even more disturbing finding showed that while 8% of students at one large University were medically overweight, the majority of students self-reported being overweight. This was even the case in 50% of students who were really medically underweight! Another study of teenagers in Connecticut reported that 7% of girls and 3% of boys had an eating disorder. One study of Navy men reported a 2.5% incidence of anorexia and 6.8% incidence of bulimia. What is an Eating Disorder? While most people think of an eating disorder as being an unhealthy quest for a perfect body, eating disorders are not about vanity and really NOT about weight. Eating disorders are complex, psychological illnesses where people try to control conflict and stress in their lives by controlling food. The food, weight, and body image issues are identifiable symptoms of deep-rooted, often difficult-to-identify problems. Differentiating Eating Disorders (1.) Anorexia nervosa An eating disorder characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight, self-starvation to the extreme, and a disturbed perception of body image. This condition is seen mostly in teenage girls and young women. Anorexia = without appetite Nervosa = of nervous origin (2.) Bulimia nervosa Recurring episodes of binge eating combined with a morbid fear of becoming fat. Is usually followed by self- induced vomiting or purging. (3.) Binge eating disorder An eating disorder whose criteria are similar to those of bulimia nervosa, excluding purging or other compensatory behaviors....
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- Spring '07