Eating Disorders are mental illnesses are related to physical and emotional problems, and involve food and weight. Many factors contribute to the development of an eating disorder, including genetics, emotional health, peer pressure and the environment.
Characteristics of different eating disorders:
- – Anorexia Nervosa: excessive weight loss triggered by self-starvatio
- – Bulimia Nervosa: cycles of binging and self-induced vomiting or abuse of lax
- – Binge Eating Disorders: eating a large quantity of food in a very short period of time without purging
Overcoming Misconceptions, Overcoming Stigma:
- – Eating disorders are a serious and complex biological disease
- – Eating disorders are a form of mental illness
- – Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
- – Eating disorders are not about vanity or a lifestyle choice
- – People of all ages, genders, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations have eating disorders
- – One’s BMI (body mass index) is not a determinant for eating disorder
Like other identities, stigma related to eating disorders leads to isolation, shaming and low self-esteem.
Only 22% of adolescents with an eating disorder seek specialized help for their problem[i].
Healthcare providers oftentimes stigmatize people with eating disorders by blaming them for their illness[ii].
[i] Swanson SA, Crow SJ, Le Grange D, Swendsen J, Merikangas KR. Prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in adolescents. Results from the national comorbidity survey replication adolescent supplement. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;68(7):714-23.
[ii] Fleming, J., Szmukler, G. Attitudes of medical professionals towards patients with eating disorders. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 1992 (26)3:436-443