Maggie Huckabee

What is bulimia?

Bulimia is an illness in which a person has regular episodes of eating very large amounts of food and feels a loss of control over eating. The person then uses different ways, such as vomiting or laxatives to prevent weight gain. The word "bulimia" comes from the Greeks word buos ("ox") and limos ("limos") which together mean "hunger of an ox".
Most women seem to have it more than men. 5 to 10 million teen girls and women have it. Over 1 million boys have it. When a person has bulimia, they do a process; binging and purging. When a person binges they over eat and lose control of what they are eating. Binges often lead to self disgust which then causes the purges to prevent the weight gain. People with bulimia are often at a normal weight but they may see themselves as being overweight.


If you or anyone you know has bulimia or any other eating disorder, please get help immediately.

  • Repeated binge eating, or eating larger amounts of food than most people would in a similar situation, in a short period of time
  • Frequently getting rid of the calories you've eaten (purging) by making yourself vomit, exercising too much, or misusing laxatives
  • Feeling a loss of control over how much you eat.
  • Feeling ashamed of overeating and very fearful of gaining weight.
  • Basing your self-esteem and value upon your body shape and weight.
  • Thinking about food, your body, or dieting so much that it distracts you from other tasks
  • Cuts or callouses on hands or fingers
  • Decay or discoloring on teeth