Eating Disorders Can Impact Anyone, but Help Is Out There


About 1 in 10 Americans — about 29 million people — will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. These conditions are real and complex, and they affect a person’s daily well-being. And health Although eating disorders. Are shrouded in stereotypes, the reality is that they can take many forms and affect anyone. At the same time, the shame and social norms. That perpetuate food culture can mean that eating disorders. And a similar problem known as disordered eating, often go unnoticed or unaddressed. Increasing loneliness and isolation among sufferers.

, in recent years, we have come a long way in understanding the psychological. And social factors that can lead to people developing eating disorders. As a result, those who are struggling have access to more treatment options. And tools than ever before. Yet barriers to care remain, including misinformation, lack of education, stigma, and more.

Awareness and access to care can help people with eating disorders. And their families address underlying issues and adopt healthy habits. Educating themselves about eating disorders and seeking treatment can show patients. That their well-being is important and that recovery is possible.

A Widespread Impact

Eating disorders remain misunderstood. The best known are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. But several other conditions exist, including binge eating disorder. There is also a common misconception that eating disorders. Affect young women, but the truth is that many people. Are susceptible to developing the condition regardless of their age. Race, sexual orientation or gender. Eating disorders are more likely, although experts believe that people may be born. With a genetic predisposition to disordered eating. And environmental factors may activate the behavior. For example, a student-athlete who needs to lose weight to compete in a match or a new mother. Who receives compliments about losing baby weight may trigger. Themselves to binge eat if they are already predisposed.

Yet focusing on stereotypes about who is most likely to have an eating disorder. Can prevent individuals from seeking and receiving care. Some sufferers may even deny their experiences.

Altogether because they don’t fit a certain mold.

The medical community has much room for improvement in this area. For example, in the past doctors were less likely to ask minorities. About eating disorder symptoms than their white peers. And studies have also indicated that young adults with higher body. Mass index measurements are less likely to be diagnosed. With eating disorders than their “normal” peers. weight” or “underweight” peers. Finally, a recent study of 9- and 10-year-olds found that boys engage in disordered eating as much as girls. In fact, it is believed that 10 million boys and men in the United States will binge eat in their lifetime. Will feel sick.

The consequences of ignoring these conditions. Misdiagnosing or receiving inadequate treatment can be fatal. Researchers estimated that 10,200 deaths related to eating disorders occurred in 2018. -2019, while a separate analysis found that 1 in 5 of people with anorexia nervosa were due to suicide.

Eating Disorders Have Been on the Rise

Knowing what we know about environmental triggers. It makes sense that calls to the National Eating Disorders Association. Helpline increased 70% to 80% during the Covid-19 pandemic. While isolation almost contributed to a 10.5% increase in social. Media users worldwide from July 2019 to July 2020.
And although many are resuming pre-pandemic practices, disordered eating patterns persist. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control. And Prevention found that average weekly. Emergency department visits for eating disorders among. Adolescents ages 12 to 17 increased by 55% between fall 2019 and fall 2022. The number increased to 57%. Among girls compared to 37% among boys.

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