Being generally obsessed over weight and food to the point that it is interfering with normal living is considered an eating disorder. To be considered having an eating disorder the person will be involved in over-the-top methods of avoiding excessive pounds. These extreme methods are called bulimia and anorexia nervosa disorders.
Of the eight million individuals in America that suffer from eating disorders, 90 percent of them are females. The monetary status of the individual has nothing to do with developing an eating disorder. This disorder is no respecter of age and someone as young as eight can be affected.
Why people are subject to this disorder is not widely known but it is believed it may have to do with having something disturbing happen or stressful conditions. The feeling that the person has lost control over their life is most likely a strong contributing factor.
Some of it has to do with the modern day thinking about the benefits of being extremely slender. There is a great pressure to fit into the perfect mold that society has decided is the ultimate goal for a person.
When an individual becomes overly concerned with being skinny, they begin to lose the desire for food because of the fear of gaining unwanted pounds and not fitting into the ‘perfect mold’. The person who is suffering from this severe condition is anorexic and will not consider putting any food into their body that is not free of fat or extremely low in calories.
Exercise is not a way of life but an obsession out of fear of gaining weight. An individual who is anorexic will believe that they need to lose weight even though in reality they are already skinny. Severe cases are those who look like walking skeletons.
The over eating disorder can also develop into a condition called bulimia which is the person who is using food to cover emotional needs and then out of fear or guilt will make themselves throw up what they have eaten or will use laxatives or water pills to get rid of what they have eaten.
These individuals will usually be very sneaky about what they are doing to get rid of the food they feel they should not have eaten. They are not the excessively skinny person but their weight changes all the time.
There is nothing incorrect about aspiring to be lean and being conscious of what you ingest or spending time exercising. The problem is when the person uses the food to cover up emotional issues and let their obsession with what they weigh over-take their normal functioning.
Treatment for eating disorders is possible. For the malnourished suffer of anorexia a trip to the hospital may be in store. The physician will probably make a referral to visit with a good dietitian for a re-education about proper eating habits.
The families or support group of those who suffer from the more severe eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia will need counseling as well as the patient. Talking over the emotional responses to these conditions are usually very helpful in the recovery process.