What Is an Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder is an extreme preoccupation with dieting and food. An estimated 8 million Americans have an eating disorder, and nearly 90 percent of those are female. While eating disorders may appear to be about food and nutrition, they are actually an unhealthy way of coping with stress, lack of control, self-esteem issues and other emotional concerns. There are three different types of eating disorders, these include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: People with anorexia have a distorted body image, an irrational fear of being overweight and an obsession with limiting the amount of food they eat. They severely restrict calories to the point of starvation despite being severely underweight.
  • Bulimia nervosa: Bulimia causes people to binge on large amounts of food, then to purge the food with self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse or enemas. Bulimics may also engage in compulsive exercise or alternate binging with fasting to avoid weight gain.
  • Binge-eating disorder or compulsive overeating: Binge eaters engage in out-of-control eating beyond the point of feeling full. Binge eaters are equally likely to be men as women, and they may be of normal weight, overweight or obese.

Our specialists have a deep understanding of the complex nature of eating and weight-related disorders and offer services to help you overcome these disorders.

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