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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

  1. Don’t focus on body flaws.
  2. 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.
  3. Address the problem and separate it from eating and food.
  4. Consciously decide to de-emphasize the importance of looks.
  5. 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.
  6. Commit to regular, reasonable physical activity.
  7. Don’t make food a weapon or crutch.

To learn more about eating disorders, go to either the National Eating Disorder Association website.