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Eating Disorders

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In a culture obsessed with thinness and dieting, it can be difficult to recognize when a person’s thinking or behavior has become dangerous. With the number of people who have an eating disorder on the rise, you, a family member or someone you know may show some of the following signs and symptoms of eating disorders. About 90% of people with eating disorder cases are women, according to the American Psychiatric Association, but it is important to remember that these diseases affect men as well.

A person with anorexia may …

  • Be thin and continue to lose weight.
  • Diet even though they are not overweight.
  • Have a distorted body image — they may feel fat even though they are not overweight.
  • Have thinning hair.
  • Talk excessively about food, cooking or dieting.

A person with bulimia may …

  • Engage in binge eating.
  • Visit the restroom frequently after meals.
  • React to stress by overeating.
  • Experience frequent fluctuations in weight.
  • Have depressive moods.

A person with a binge eating disorder may …

  • Eat large quantities of food when they are not physically hungry.
  • Eat rapidly.
  • Eats to the point of feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Often eat alone because of shame or embarrassment about the amount of food they are consuming.
  • Have a history of dramatic weight fluctuations.

For more information about food, weight or body-image issues, please call the Portage Health Community Health Department at (906) 483-1149.

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