Early detection of an eating disorder can help prevent more serious conditions from developing. At the earliest signs, doctors should ask about eating habits and satisfaction with appearance. During a well-child visit, height and weight percentiles should also be measured, which can alert parents to significant changes. In many cases, eating disorders develop before a child reaches puberty. During this visit, it’s a good idea to offer encouragement and support.
The National Eating Disorders Association aims to increase awareness about these conditions in the United States. While eating disorders are not a universal disease, the fact that more Americans are obese and trying to lose weight is a stark reminder that society still values thinness. The plight of young people with eating disorders is particularly dangerous, undermining their physical and mental health. The association hopes to reduce stigma surrounding the disorder. For now, the National Eating Disorders Association is conducting an awareness week that will help make American society more informed about this issue.
A nutritionist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare discussed six types of eating patterns that affect people with the disorder. These include emotional eaters and those who eat when they’re happy, sad, stressed, or bored. If this sounds familiar, it’s important to find other ways to cope with stressful or painful situations, rather than relying on food as a coping mechanism. If you’re someone who tends to indulge in binge eating, it’s vital to seek out treatment.