EATING DISORDERS/EATING ISSUES

Eating problems can involve over or undereating.  Eating issues could develop into eating disorders, such as binge eating disorder, obesity, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa.

     Binge Eating Disorder- is the most common eating disorder in the United States.  Binge eating disorder involves repeated patterns of eating large amounts of food, more than most individuals would eat.  A person frequently eats very fast and until her or him becomes uncomfortable.  An individual with a binge eating disorder often feels a loss of control during the binge and feels guilt and shame afterwards.

     Bulimia- is an eating disorder involving a cycle of binge eating (eating large amounts of food more than most individuals within a two-hour period) combined with bouts of vomiting, laxative use, fasting, and/or other methods of purging.  The person with bulimia often feels a loss of control and feels guilt and shame throughout the cycle of bulimia.  The person with bulimia frequently displays a distorted view of his or her body image or weight.

     Obesity- is a medical diagnosis where the individual’s body weight consists of a BMI (body mass index) of 30 and above.  Behavioral and genetic factors contribute to the development of obesity.  Therefore, therapy, along with nutritional changes and exercise, are crucial components to treatment.

Anorexia Nervosa- is an eating disorder that involves a below normal weight through starvation or excessive exercise.  Individuals with anorexia nervosa obsess about their weight and what they eat, and experience a distorted body image, with an unreasonable fear of being overweight.  Anorexia Nervosa often begins in adolescence, yet an increased amount of children and adults are also being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.     Anorexia Athletica/Hypergymnasia- is considered a subset of other eating disorders and is also referred to as “obligatory exercise.”  Anorexia athletica/hypergymnasia often begins from being preoccupied with one’s health and wanting to lose weight or get fit to be healthier, or from wanting to improve as an athlete.  The onset of anorexia athletica/hypergymnasia, is not always about poor body image or self-esteem difficulties.  Some individuals starve and exercise compulsively while others use it as a method of eliminating calories after bingeing instead of purging, while others do both.  With hypergymnasia, the need to exercise takes over to the point where working out feels like an obligation/chore and is no longer an enjoyable activity, even if a person genuinely started out enjoying exercise.  Along with the severe lack of nutrition developed from the associated anorexia or bulimia that often coexists with hypergymnasia, the excessive exercise itself can cause a variety of serious health problems such as bone and muscle injuries, cardiovascular issues, and arthritis.