Eating Disorders

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The New Faces of Eating Disorders: Coming Out of ‘Thin’ Air

http://www.cappinophysio.ca/wp-content/uploads/april_diet_pic1.jpgIn Canada, 2.8% of females and 0.5% of males are affected with an eating disorder. But perhaps more surprising is that the face of these disorders is rapidly changing; we no longer just see the teenage girl on the quest for the ideal body shape –  we now see people of all ages and walks of life who develop all types of unhealthy obsessions with weight, body shape, and eating.

 

http://www.cappinophysio.ca/wp-content/uploads/april_diet_pic2.jpgMany of us grew up with the idea that an eating disorder meant one of two things: that you were either anorexic or you were bulimic. I recently attended a conference hosted by Nutrium entitled  « L’alimentation troublée chez l’adulte: mieux comprendre pour mieux aider » which turned that idea on its head. Here are some examples of these new disorders, and new faces, discussed at this conference:

Binge Eating Disorder: frequently binging i.e. eating very large amounts of food.

People with BED could be overweight, obese or normal weight.

Some symptoms include:

1. Eating very rapidly, in large amounts, without being hungry.

2. Feeling that binges are out of control.

3. Feeling depressed, and guilty after binging.

http://www.cappinophysio.ca/wp-content/uploads/april_diet_pic3.jpgOrthorexia: an obsession with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.

Surprisingly, this eating disorder tends to affect men more than women.

Signs include:

1. Spending most of the time planning, shopping, and eating meals.

2. Isolating one self from others.

3. Being very critical when strict diet restrictions aren’t followed and feeling very proud when they are.

http://www.cappinophysio.ca/wp-content/uploads/april_diet_pic4.jpgBigorexia: also known as muscle dysmorphia, is disorder where a person becomes obsessed with the idea that they aren’t muscular enough.

Mostly men are affected by this disorder with an average age of onset of 19.

Symptoms could include:

1. Ignoring other important activities and responsibilities just to maintain exercise regime.

2. Avoiding situations where the body is exposed to others.

3. Continuing to exercise, to diet, and take drugs despite negative consequences.

 

http://www.cappinophysio.ca/wp-content/uploads/april_diet_pic5.jpgFrom these examples, we see that not only do eating disorders have many faces, but those behind them as well! Any unhealthy obsession with eating, body image and/or weight can be damaging and can affect all aspects of life. Treatment often involves several health care professional working together. Learning to eat in a nutritious, positive way to meet your body’s needs with the help of a Registered Dietitian is a fundamental part of the healing process on the road to a healthier, more balanced life.

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