Millions of people are affected by an eating disorder each year. Adolescents and young adults are more susceptible to developing an eating disorder during that time of their lives. It may start in junior high or high school because of the need to have the "perfect" body, the pressure to be skinny, or the thought that they need to look like celebrities. Some of the most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.
Anorexia: characterized by an individual starving themselves because they think they are overweight. If the individual is below their ideal normal body weight and is using starvation to loose more weight, he or she may be struggling with anorexia.
Bulimia: characterized by a person that overeats and then eliminates the food from his or her body by vomiting, taking laxatives, or excessive exercise. Bulimia can be challenging to identify in adolescents because the person may not appear to be gaining or loosing weight. It is important to identify this eating disorder because it can have a negative impact on the body and physical and emotional health, especially if the individual is vomiting.
Binge Eating: characterized by an individual that is eating excessively but does not attempt to eliminate the food they are consuming. The individual isn't eating a healthy serving of food and has a difficult time controlling their frequent urges to consume food. A binge eating episode includes 3 or more symptoms including; eating alone due to embarrassment about the amount of food they are consuming, eating more than a normal or healthy serving of food, eating beyond the feeling of fullness, eating large amounts of food when you are not feeling hungary, or feeling guilty after consuming a large amount of food.