Interesting Facts About Eating Disorders: Potentially Life-Threatening Conditions

Anorexia and Eating Disorders

Anorexia and Eating Disorders

Nowadays, we hear a lot more about eating disorders. Much of the information we’ve on this subject comes from the popular media and celebrity news stories. Therefore, how can we determine if what we hear is true? Keep reading, because below you’ll find some interesting facts which everyone needs to know about eating disorders.
Eating disorders are complex and devastating conditions which can have severe impacts on relationships, productivity, and health. They aren’t a lifestyle choice, phase or a fad.
Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions which affect the physical and emotional health of an individual. As one of the main eating disorders, anorexia is the third most prevalent chronic illness in adolescents.
People who’re struggling with any eating disorder should seek professional assistance as quickly as possible. The earlier an individual with an eating disorder seeks proper treatment, the higher the chances of emotional and physical recovery.
Let’s now look at some interesting facts about eating disorders:
1. Eating disorders are classified as mental illnesses where there’s a bad relationship with food. Those suffering these disorders usually struggle with the body image and disrupts their usual activities with strange eating habits to change their appearance.
2. About one million males and ten million females have a form of bulimia or anorexia in the US. Hundreds of thousands more are also struggling with the compulsive eating disorder. Also, more than 70 million people around the world struggle with an eating disorder.
3. Studies have suggested that genetic factors play a vital role in the development of eating disorders. The relatives of women with anorexia are eleven times more likely to suffer from anorexia, and the relatives of women with bulimia are nearly four times at higher risk for bulimia.
4. Low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse, loneliness, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and anger are prevalent among individuals who develop eating disorders. Also, those who are ridiculed or praised for their sexual or weight development are at higher risk as well.
5. Eating disorders are associated with troubled or unstable family relationships. However, even loving, nurturing and caring families may inadvertently promote the development of an eating disorder by having exceedingly high expectations or by overemphasizing thinness.
6. Scientists have suggested that some girls can develop anorexia since they’re afraid to be far from their parents, especially their mothers. They develop this eating disorder to stop their sexual development as an approach to avoid leaving their childhood.
7. Eating disorders can affect people of all races, backgrounds, and ages. They’ve been reported in individuals as old as 80 and as young as 8. Contrary to common belief, men have eating disorders as well.
Men are being diagnosed with eating disorders at highly increasing rates. While men constitute only 10% to 15% of all cases of bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, about 50% of people suffering from binge eating disorder are males.
Cross-cultural studies reveal that eating disorders affect individuals of every ethnic and racial background. So, it is not only white females who suffer from eating disorders – they’re an “equal opportunity destroyer.”
8. Cultures have an effect on the occurrence of eating disorders. Studies reveal that eating disorders are very common in industrialized nations where the pursuit of thinness and dieting are the acknowledged norm.
In contrast, non-Western countries record low rates of eating disorders. Researchers are discovering that with the Western influence and globalization come the desire to adopt Western ideals, including thinness ideals which relate to attractiveness and appearance.
9. While anorexia is more prevalent among young people than any other age group, it’s more fatal in the elderly. Between 1986 and 1990, the elderly accounted for 78 percent of all deaths as a result of anorexia.
10. More than 20 percent of gay men suffer from anorexia, and about 14 percent suffer from bulimia. However, scientists believe that such large numbers for gays may be a result of their being more comfortable admitting to an eating disorder and even seeking treatment. It’s not that homosexuality is a factor in the development of an eating disorder.

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