Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are extremely common, however can be serious and even life threatening if not treated appropriately. Millions of people are affected by eating disorders every year and unfortunately thousands of sufferers die because their disorder has gone unrecognised for too long. Approximately 1% of people aged between 10 and 20 suffer from anorexia each year and 4% aged 16 – 25 suffer from bulimia.

The main characteristic of an eating disorder is the person’s obsession with their weight; these obsessive thoughts can lead to severe consequences in both their health and their actions.
Research has shown that females are much more likely to develop anorexia and bulimia than males. However, this is not the case with binge-eating disorder which seems to develop in almost as many males as females.

Recognisable Symtoms

Dramatic weight loss or gain in a very short period of time.
Obsession with weight
Obsession with calories and fat content of foods.
Loss of sexual desire
Mood swings, feeling depressed and tired
Insomnia or poor sleeping habits.
Experiencing low self-esteem
Experiencing suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide
Obsessing about food and body image
Isolation and fear of eating while others are around
Unusual Food rituals and secretive eating patterns
Hiding food in strange places to avoid eating or to eat secretly at a later time
Feeling anxious, lonely or depressed

Types of Eating Disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa
Binge-Eating Disorder

According to the Mental Health Foundation current estimates suggest that up to 1 per cent of women in the UK between the ages of 15 and 30 suffer from anorexia nervosa, and between 1 and 2 per cent suffer from bulimia nervosa. As many cases of eating disorder are unreported or undiagnosed, the actual figures are likely to be much higher. Eating Disorders can affect any one equally.