Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour.A 2015 report commissioned by Beat (A UK based eating disorder charity) estimates more than 725,000 people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.
There are different types of eating disorder;
- Anorexia nervosa – The condition often develops out of an anxiety about body shape and weight that originates from a fear of being fat or a desire to be thin. Many people with anorexia have a distorted image of themselves, thinking they're fat when they're not.
- Bulimia – People who have bulimia try to control their weight by severely restricting the amount of food they eat, then binge eating and purging the food from their body by making themselves vomit or using laxatives.
- Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person feels compelled to overeat on a regular basis through regular binges. People who binge eat consume very large quantities of food over a short period of time, even when they are not hungry.
As with other eating disorders, bulimia nervosa can be associated with:
- Low self-esteem
- Alcohol misuse
There are a number of sources you can refer to if you or a friend are suffering with an eating disorder.
Beat - Eating disorders
This is a Helpline service that provides support and information 365 days a year. Call their Helpline on 0345 634 1414.
You can visit their website for more information and advice: www.b-eat.co.uk
You may also want to visit the Student Minds website which has a lot of information on how to seek help with eating disorders and who else may be able to assist you.
For additional help with an eating disorder, you can also visit your GP who can provide you with information and support.