Research shows that during the past three decades, the prevalence of eating disorders has increased dramatically. Eating disorders affect all genders, races, and ethnic group and recent studies show that genetics, environmental factors, and personality traits all contribute to the risk of developing an eating disorder. In a society obsessed with how we look, more and more people are struggling to navigate disordered relationships with food, weight, and body size. Despite its prevalence, people often feel isolated, ashamed, and alone in this struggle, but you don’t have to do this on your own. Compassionate, empathetic, professional help is available.
Types of Eating Disorders
An eating disorder characterized by restriction of food intake leading to low body weight, typically accompanied by intense fear of gaining weight and a disturbed perception of one’s own body weight and image
An eating disorder characterized by regular, often secretive bouts of overeating followed by self-induced vomiting or purging, strict dieting, or extreme exercise, associated with persistent and excessive concern with body weight. May also include misuse of laxatives and/or diuretics
BED is characterized by regular episodes of eating an excessive amount of food, which may take place rapidly or be extended grazing, usually eating far past the point of feeling full. These episodes feel chaotic, uncontrollable, and highly distressing. It is common to binge alone or in secret and to experience intense feelings of guilt, shame, disgust, and low mood after a binge.
ARFID is characterized by avoidance and aversion to food and eating. The restriction is NOT due to a body image disturbance, but a result of anxiety or phobia of food and/or eating, a heightened sensitivity to sensory aspects of food such as texture, taste or smell, or a lack of interest in food/eating secondary to low appetite
Individuals experience significant distress due to symptoms similar to disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder, but do not meet full criteria for a diagnosis. OSFED commonly presents with extremely disturbed eating habits, a distorted body image, overvaluation of body shape and weight, and an intense fear of gaining weight.
BDD is characterized by extreme preoccupation with self-perceived defects in the appearance of the body, leading to distress and impairment of social and occupational functioning. Symptoms include behaviors aimed at fixing or hiding the perceived flaw that are difficult to resist or control, such as frequently checking the mirror, grooming or skin picking; attempting to hide perceived flaws with styling, makeup or clothes, and constantly comparing your appearance with others.