9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. Many who struggle don’t know how or where to seek help. Luckily, FEED RD, Kim Blum, breaks down some facts and where to start if you or someone you know needs help.
What is an eating disorder?
According to psychiatry.org, ” Eating disorders are behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions. They can be very serious conditions affecting physical, psychological, and social function. Types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, other specified feeding and eating disorder, pica and rumination disorder.”
How common are eating disorders?
Eating disorders affect at least 28 million Americans and most often develop in adolescence and young adulthood. Although much more common in females, 10 percent of cases are diagnosed in men.
What causes an eating disorder?
Research shows that genes and heredity play a part in why some people are at higher risk for an eating disorder, but there is no single cause. They are classified as psychiatric conditions and often co-occur with other disorders like mood and anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and alcohol and drug abuse problems.
How do I know if someone I know has an eating disorder? What should I do about it?
There may be a variety of red flags associated with someone suffering from an eating disorder. Look for excessive “fat, weight or calorie talk”, limited choice of low-calorie foods, eating alone, plus other “rules” or behaviors relating to food, diet, weight, and eating. It is important to find expert support to help a loved one work through an eating disorder. Recovery requires a team of family, friends, medical, and mental health professionals.
Are you or someone you know struggling with or curious about learning more about eating disorders? Schedule a session with FEED RD, Kim Blum to learn more.