Each year, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States assign February as Eating Disorders Awareness month. Eating disorders occur as a result of biological, psychological, familial and societal influences. Despite research showing that genetics sets the stage for body size, bone structure and shape, eating disorders are more prevalent than ever before. Below is a short description of the types of eating disorders.
Anorexia Nervosa: Essentially self-starvation, this disorder involves a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight.
Bulimia Nervosa: This involves repeated episodes of binge eating, followed by ways of trying to purge the food from the body or prevent expected weight gain. People can have this condition and be of normal weight.
Binge-eating Disorder: This is characterized by frequent episodes of overeating without purging.
Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS): A range of other disordered eating patterns don’t fit into the other types of eating disorders. These eating patterns are still serious, and intervention and attention are necessary.
Left unattended, eating disorders can lead to serious health problems or even death. I have lost several friends to Anorexia, which is the most lethal of ALL mental illnesses.