Eating Disorder Myths

Uncategorized

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The most common image of a person suffering from an eating disorder is an already skinny teenage girl striving to look more like a supermodel. But, eating disorders don’t discriminate. Anyone can have an eating disorder no matter their age, gender, or body type.

National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) just wrapped up their 15th annual eating disorder awareness week and the theme was “I had no idea…” The purpose of this week was to dispel common myths about eating disorders. We are going to cover five common myths and the real facts behind them.

 

 

Myth- Eating Disorder are only for girls

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Facts- 40 million people in the US suffer from eating disorders. About 10 million of them are male. While the majority is female, a significant number of men suffer. Just as girls are constantly pressured with the Barbie doll image and that of celebrities, men are pressured to look like super heroes and famous actors.

 

Myth- The cure for eating disorders is just to eat more

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Facts- While eating more will solve the physical problems it will not solve the psychological problems. Most eating disorders stem from a place of wanting to obtain the perfect body and from there become gradually more and more dangerous. It is important to address the psychological issues as well. Just telling someone with an eating disorder to eat more healthfully is not going to solve the problem, and it could make it worse.

 

Myth- Eating disorders are only for skinny people

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Facts- There are three main types of eating disorders and they include people of all body types.

Anorexia Nervosa is not consuming enough calories for the body to perform properly, while this is common among people who are really skinny, overweight and average weight people can also suffer from this disorder. It is not about being underweight, but rather about not getting enough calories.

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by eating large amounts of food in one sitting and then purging them regularly though vomiting after the meal. Again, while this is more common among underweight individuals, being underweight is not a requirement for diagnosis.

Binge Eating is eating large amounts of food at once without the intent of purging. This disorder is more common among overweight individuals.

Myth- Eating disorders are just  phases 

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Fact- All types of eating disorders are dangerous and have serious consequences on a person’s health and should be treated as such. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. 20% of people with eating disorders will die from their illness.

Myth- There is no hope

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Fact- While recovery can be hard, it is possible. People who complete treatment are able to live healthy long lives.

 

If you think you might be suffering from an eating disorder talk to someone there are people out there who want to help.

Crisis Call Center

800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

http://crisiscallcenter.org/crisisservices.html

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Eating Disorders

630-577-1330

7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday

http://www.anad.org

 

National Eating Disorders Association

800-931-2237

6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Food for Thought

Depression, Health, School, Uncategorized

It could be said that man and woman’s best friend is food.  Just think about it, where do you tend to bond most with people you know? At the lunch table in the cafeteria, at a pizza parlor, at an ice cream shop, over popcorn while watching a movie, or even at BBQ’s and sports events where food is the thing to bring.  When winter arrives and you can’t do anything outside because of the weather, what do you like to do? Grab a snack.  If you are stressed out about family issues, schoolwork, and relationship problems, what do you do? Grab a snack.  It is actually quite natural for us to grab a snack when we are bored or stressed out.  It can be considered even healthy-if you chose the right snacks. 

According to an article found on WebMD, there are foods that you can eat during the winter months to help fight depression (Lawrence, 2005).  Due to the lack of sunlight during winter, levels of serotonin (a chemical in the brain that helps make you feel happy) decrease, but then increase as the days get longer during springtime.   By eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and proteins during the shorter days, it will boost serotonin levels in your brain and thus decrease the symptoms of depression.  But what do foods like this look like? They are known as fruits (bananas are great!), popcorn, nuts, veggies, as well as many other things.  To check out more types of food and other ways to increase your feel-good in the membrane chemical, click on this link “Foods that Fight Winter Depression.”

Eat up!!