Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder can have devastating effects. Each year millions of people in the United States are affected by serious and sometimes life-threatening eating disorders. The vast majority of those afflicted with eating disorders are adolescent and young adult women. Researchers have found that stringent dieting can play a key role in triggering eating disorders.
The consequences of eating disorders can be severe. Anorexia nervosa can lead to death from starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications, or suicide. Fortunately, increasing awareness of the dangers of eating disorders – sparked by medical studies and extensive media coverage of the illness--has led many people to seek help.
In research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), scientists have found that people with eating disorders who get early treatment have a better chance of full recovery than those who wait years before getting help.
To learn more or to make an appointment to see a counselor, contact The Village Family Service Center.
People who intentionally starve themselves suffer from an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa. The disorder, which usually begins in young people around the time of puberty, involves extreme weight loss – at least 15 percent below the individual's normal body weight. Many people with the disorder look emaciated but are convinced they are overweight. Sometimes they must be hospitalized to prevent starvation. Learn more
People with bulimia nervosa consume large amounts of food and then rid their bodies of the excess calories by vomiting, abusing laxatives or diuretics, taking enemas, or exercising obsessively. Some use a combination of all these forms of purging. Because many individuals with bulimia "binge and purge" in secret and maintain normal or above normal body weight, they can often successfully hide their problem from others for years. Learn more
Binge Eating Disorder
An illness that resembles bulimia nervosa is binge eating disorder. Like bulimia, the disorder is characterized by episodes of uncontrolled eating or binging. However, binge eating disorder differs from bulimia because its sufferers do not purge their bodies of excess food. Learn more