Let's Deal With Eating Disorders
Did you know that more than 50% of girls and 33% of boys have engaged in unhealthy weight control behaviors?* Do you sometimes wonder if you have an eating disorder?
Eating disorders are a type of obsessive behavior that can lead to extremely unhealthy results. One day, you’re simply following that fad diet you found online. A few weeks later, you’re eating fewer and fewer calories a day, vomiting after eating some “forbidden” food, exercising every spare minute, or frequently using laxatives.
Eating disorders include:
- Anorexia (literally starving yourself)
- Bulimia (binge-eating followed by vomiting)
- Compulsive eating (where far more calories than necessary are repeatedly consumed, leading to obesity)
- Compulsive, excessive exercise (to “burn off” binge eating)
- Laxative addiction
If you find yourself obsessed with your weight and body image, you may have the beginnings of an eating disorder. Talk to your parents, your family doctor, or a trusted advisor at school.
Tips to Avoid an Eating Disorder
- Don’t focus on body flaws.
- If eating (or talking or thinking about eating) becomes obsessive, write down what’s happening in your life. You’re likely to find a struggle or problem.
- Address the problem and separate it from eating and food.
- Consciously decide to de-emphasize the importance of looks.
- If there is a real need to lose weight, make it healthy—talk to your family and a medical professional on the healthiest way for you to lose weight.
- Commit to regular, reasonable physical activity.
- Don’t make food a weapon or crutch.
To learn more about eating disorders, go to either the National Eating Disorder Association website.