What are eating disorders?

Eating Disorders are characterized by variations in eating habits that negatively impact the health of the individual. Typically, but not always, these disorders relate to disturbances in how one perceives one’s own body relative to an ideal or external standard.

Anorexia Nervosa is an example of a common eating disorder. Those with this disorder will alter their eating habits such that they become dangerously underweight and malnourished, putting their life in jeopardy in the process. Another eating disorder is known as Bulimia, and it concerns binge eating episodes punctuated by forced vomiting or the use of laxatives.

Eating disorders typically appear in the teenage and young adult years, and they are more common in females than males. While these disorders are mental illnesses they can and do have serious health impacts on sufferers as they interrupt or impede the acquisition of nourishment. As a result of this fact, Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

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