Then a person is obsessed with limiting the intake of food to the point of starvation (anorexia), or eating excessive amounts at one time (binge), or purging after eating (bulimia), or even exercising compulsively (anorexia athletic), he or she may have an eating disorder.
People who have eating disorders may be having difficulty with their self-esteem or body image. They may feel that they have some control over their lives by controlling what they eat. While dieting and food intake can be valid decisions at certain times, if taken to excess they could cause serious physical and mental damage.
Eating disorders are more often found in adolescents between the ages of 15-25 though anyone could be affected. Sometimes being away from home such as at college can trigger this response to a need to feel accepted.
Often friends, family or teachers will be the first to notice. Offering to listen, encouraging them to talk to a counsellor or advisor is a good first step.
For more information about eating disorders:
- Consult the National Eating Disorder Information Centre .
- Visit the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). Watch the intro video Eating Disorders: Who is affected
- Read the personal stories of survival .
- Watch a brief video about the facts .
- Watch a brief video from Nightline from ABC on Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified EDNOS