Eating disorders affect millions of people, thousands if which die from them every year. Thousands of women and an increasing number of men look at themselves in the mirror everyday and hate what they see. In their attempt to lose weight, they jeopardize and risk their own health so as to be accepted and fit into society. They may succumb to dieting due to social pressure, depression, puberty or for the sake of being in control of their body weight. Two main eating disorders millions of people face today are anorexia and bulimia.
Individuals with anorexia are unwilling or unable to maintain a body weight that is normal or expectable for their age and height. They typically display a pronounced fear of weight gain and dread becoming fat although they are dramatically underweight. This condition usually starts in the mid teens and affects one fifteen year old girl in every one hundred and fifty.
Occasionally, it may occur earlier, in childhood or later. Sufferers with anorexia actually have a normal appetite, but drastically control their eating.
Individuals with bulimia regularly engage in eating large quantities of food in a very short time after which are followed by attempts to compensate for overeating and to avoid weight gain. This is called binge eating. Binge eating is then followed by attempts to undo the consequences of the binge through self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, severe caloric restriction, enemas, or excessive exercising. This usually affects a slightly older age group, often women in their mid twenties who have been overweight as children. It affects three out of one hundred women.
However, there is still hope for sufferers. Admitting to having a problem should be the first step taken which should then be followed by seeking help from a doctor or specialist. There...