Eating Disorders and Screening Week

February 26, 2018
Eating Disorder Week - Soma Technology, Inc.

Eating Disorder Week - Soma Technology, Inc.

Eating Disorders and Screening Week

Chances are you probably know someone who has or had an eating disorder. Eating disorders are changes in dietary behaviors caused by a psychological influence. Over 30 million people in the United States suffer from a type of eating disorder. To put it in perspective, 1 in 10 people will have an eating disorder.

What Causes Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are caused by thought pattern differences, and a skewed opinion of oneself’s physical appearance. It has been widely suggested that eating disorders are a form of self-control when one feels they lack control of the order of their life.

Types of Eating Disorders

There are a few different types of eating disorders, where they all have different symptoms and characteristics. Anorexia Nervosa is classified by the fear of ingesting calories, and being overweight. This can be a very severe disease. Those who suffer from anorexia fall into one of two categories: binging and purging, or restrictive of calories. People with anorexia have noted that their triggers are how people are portrayed in the media, traumas, excessive pressure from school or jobs, and peer pressure.

Signs and symptoms include weight loss, ritualistic eating, obsession with calories, developing hair on the body, thinning hair, loss of a menstrual cycle, and social avoidances. Unfortunately, not consuming enough calories leads to impaired organ functions, and the eventual shutdown of organ systems, or a heart attack. Anorexia is considered the most deadly eating disorder.

Bulimia nervosa is when someone with a fear of gaining weight ingests their calories and then purges them back up when they are alone. Signs and symptoms include someone who is obsessed with fearing weight gain, empty wrappers hidden from a period of binging and spending a lot of time in the bathroom.

Orthorexia nervosa is a relatively new type of eating disorder, only categorized within the last two decades. Orthorexia is an obsession with eating foods one deems as “clean.” These foods are usually fruits and vegetable, with very little to no consumption of fats, or carbohydrates. These dietary instructions are proposed by the individual and are not backed by any studies. This behavior can be coupled with excessive exercise and leads to malnutrition, negative body image and lack of confidence.

Overeating may not seem like a typical eating disorder, but it is characterized as a disorder. The person who overeats uses food as a comfort and continues to eat passed the feeling of being full. This person may snack on food when they are bored, sad, or depressed. These feelings are usually coupled with depression, and feelings of worthlessness.

Celebrities with Eat Disorders

There are many celebrities who use eating disorders as a way to “cope” with their interpersonal and social pressures. Celebrities who have admitted to having an eating disorder include Zayn Malik, Demi Lovato, Kesha, Portia De Rossi, Lady Gaga, Alanis Morissette, Russell Brand, Jane Fonda, Elton John, Princess Diana, and a countless amount of others.


If you know of anyone who is looking for treatment, please direct them to a psychologist that specializes in eating disorders. Sometimes, eating disorders are indicative of a different problem, stemming from perhaps a mental disorder. Please consult your primary care physician for any abnormalities you notice in your behavior. There is a national helpline from NEDA, 800-931-2237, where you can call if you feel you are struggling, and need someone to talk to.

Final Thoughts

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, please get help. Mental illnesses are incredibly common, and can be overcome with specialized treatment and support. If you have ever had an eating disorder, or have tips on how to overcome one, please comment them below.

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