Raised Awareness for Eating Disorders

The week of raised awareness for eating disorders tries to send an alarming signal.

This week of raised awareness for eating disorders has also come with the results of a new study that sheds light on milder types of the common disorder.

It appears that eating issues are actually more complex than we previously thought. They can also be so subtle that we might not even know we have them, and that is when it can get truly dangerous. According to a recent study, thirty million citizens of the United States are either developing or already suffering from an eating disorder.

Furthermore, even though most of us think of anorexia or bulimia when we hear about eating disorders, there are many more types of eating issues. Raising awareness for binge eating or orthorexia which is obsession over eating only healthy foods is of utmost importance. Numerous people do not even know that they have an eating disorder because of the societal attitude for such behaviors.

This happens because we tend to explain eating patterns in other ways than disorders and we thus normalize them. Someone who is anorexic is usually viewed as a picky eater, while binge eaters are usually considered foodies. Not to mention orthorexics are even praised for being concerned about what they eat.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders contains some of these newly discovered disorders. Binge eating was added three years ago, but still many people do not check such manuals for informing themselves.

The newest study on the matter has shown that 1.6 teenagers and 5.5 adults from the U.S. suffer from the binge eating disorder. BED means that people eat uncontrollably and can also lead further on to gaining weight, anxiety, depression and guilt.

However, there are also numerous milder forms of this disorder, such as using diuretics or restricting food for losing pounds or eating food very late at night. It appears that 70% of those diagnosed with eating disorders have milder types classified as OSFEDs (other specified feeding or eating disorders). The values might be even higher since numerous people do not report those issues.

Another newly discovered disorder refers to workout exaggerating and has been named anorexia athletica. It seems at least half of the cases of eating disorders are linked to this particular issue.

Raised awareness for eating disorders needs to happen more often in order to make people understand that even if they have small issues, these could affect their whole lives and lead to bad medical conditions, especially if they are ignored for many years.

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