Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eating Disorders

Abnormal and unhealthy eating behaviors can develop from obsessive attitudes about food or body image. Some turn to food for comfort and end up consuming unhealthy amounts of food in ashort period of time - BINGE EATING. Others in search of the "perfect body" starve themselves or limit calories to an absurdly low level - ANOREXIA, or they practice forced vomiting after eating and take diuretics or laxatives like candy - BULIMIA. People struggling with anorexia and bulimia also often become addicted to exercise.

So what are the sick factors of eating disorders? Here are just a few:

-Binge Eating - obesity, heart disease, liver and kidney problems, certain types of cancer, energy loss
-Anorexia - dry brittle bones, hair and nails, digestive problems, fainting, stunted growth, kidney failure
-Bulimia - inflammation of the esophagus due to frequent vomiting, dehydration, tooth and gum problems, heart problems that can lead to death

What to do if you suspect someone has an eating disorder:

- Look for a private place to talk.
- Communicate your concerns by stating specific examples of times you felt concerned by your friend's eating habits.
- Encourage your friend to talk with a school counselor, doctor, or nutritionist. Even offer to go with them for the first visit if they would like.
- Avoid conflict or offense by using statements like "I'm concerned about you because..."

- Express your continued support - no matter what you will still be their friend.

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