Eating Disorders

Anything but a Dream

Eating disorders. We all have heard of them. But did you know it's actually more common than you think? 1-2 out of every 100 students will struggle with an eating disorder. One of your fellow classmates could have anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and no one would even know.

What causes them?

One of the causes of eating disorders, especially from those 13 - 17 years of age, can easily be traced back to media. The media glorifies being skinny, and rarely any body diversity is shown in commercials, magazines, TV shows, etc. Teenagers during puberty, however, grow differently, and sometimes you gain additional body fat, which is completely normal.

Coaches, family members, and others can also encourage teens who participate in sports to be as thin as possible, even when they are supposed to gain fat during their time of growing.


Anorexia is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight. People who have anorexia have a distorted view of their bodies. Countless amounts of teenagers that struggle with anorexia restrict their food intake or even stop consuming food altogether, or excessive exercise.


Bulimia is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight as well. People with bulimia have bouts of extreme overeating, and are followed by self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting.

What's the Difference?

People with anorexia are usually thin and underweight, while people with bulimia may be overweight or even at normal weight.

Binge Eating

A person who binges eats regularly on food. However, unlike anorexia and bulimia, the person does not try to purge themselves of food.

What are the signs of an eating disorder?

How do you you know who has anorexia or bulimia. You can't tell just by simply looking at them, but there are some hints as to what the person is struggling with.

Signs of anorexia:

  • they become very thin and frail
  • they withdraw from social activities
  • they portion food carefully
  • they are obsessed with eating, food, and weight loss

Signs of bulimia:

  • they are unhappy with their weight, shape, and size
  • they withdraw from social activities
  • they make excuses to go to the bathroom right after meals

The Effects of Eating disorders

For anorexia

  • hair loss
  • fingernail breakage
  • swollen joints
  • brittle bones
  • loss of periods
  • drop in blood pressure

For bulimia

  • constant stomach ache
  • damage to stomach and kidneys
  • chipmunk cheeks
  • loss of periods
  • tooth decay

For binge eating

  • developing diabetes
  • developing heart disease
  • and other diseases linked to being overweight

Eating disorders is a very serious thing, and should not be taken lightly. Your body is growing right now, and you should let it grow. No matter what size, shape, and weight you are, you are beautiful, and you shouldn't let some unworldly image of 'skinny' on TV dictate your health and moral.
If you or someone you know is/may be struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or any other eating disorder, speak with a trusted adult immediately. You can save a person from a deadly and dangerous fate
To learn more about eating disorders or call a helpline, visit

For those in need, they also have ways of communicating with them for help.

Helpline: 630-577-1330 (open Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, Central time)