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Body Image and Eating Disorders

Do I:

Weigh myself everyday?

Skip at least one meal a day?

Count calories and fat grams every time I eat?

Exercise because I have to, not because I want to?

Am I developing an eating disorder?

At least 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men in the US are struggling with eating disorders.

Eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, however they are usually about much more than food. People with eating disorders use food and the control of food to compensate for feelings and emotions that may seem overwhelming. For some, dieting, bingeing, and purging may begin as a way to cope with painful emotions and to feel in control of one's life. Once started they can create a self-perpetuating cycle of physical and emotional destruction. Think of issues surrounding eating as being on a continuum from healthy eating to disordered eating to full-fledged eating disorders. All eating disorders are serious and require professional help. The sooner people get help the more likely they will recover fully.

National Institutes of Mental Health brochure Eating Disorders.