Eating Disorders

By: Alan Xie

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are serious and often fatal illnesses that cause big changes in a person's eating behaviors. Signs of an eating disorder include obsessions with body weight, food, or body shape. Common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorders.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where people see themselves as overweight, even when they are extremely underweight. They usually continually weigh themselves and restrict the amount of food they eat. Suicide is very common in those with anorexia.

Bulimia nervosa is where people have recurrent episodes of binge-eating followed by forced vomiting or laxatives in order to purge oneself. People with bulimia nervosa usually keep a healthy weight unlike those with anorexia nervosa.

Binge-eating disorders is where people lose control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, this person does not purge after binge-eating, causing people with bulimia nervosa to be overweight. This is the most common eating disorder in the US

What Are Some Signs of Eating Disorders?

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Extremely restricted eating
  • Extreme thinness
  • Unwillingness to keep a healthy weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body image

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Chronic inflamed throat
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Decaying tooth enamel
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Severe dehydration
  • Electrolyte Imbalance

Binge-Eating Disorders

  • Eating unusual amounts of food
  • Eating when full or not hungry
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating alone to avoid embarrassment
  • Feeling guilty about eating
The Truth About Eating Disorders

WebMD video about two girls with anorexia and bulimia