What is an eating disorder? Do you have an eating disorder? Is someone close to you suffering from an eating disorder?
The medical-psychological term "eating disorder" is used to describe a mental disorder whose symptoms are related directly or indirectly to eating and body image. An eating disorder is often accompanied by depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies, and according to the American Public Health Service, half of adult Americans know someone who suffers from an eating disorder.
So yes, you probably know someone suffering from the disease.
The disorders, rooted in psychology, culture, biological and genetic factors, mainly hit the Western population as a result of the environment in which we live. It was customary to regard the disease common to teen girls, but we now know that even though most of those who suffer from the disease are women, about 15-20% are men. In addition, although the disease affects mainly the wide age range of 12 to 41 years, we now know that the perception of the body image begins to take shape at kindergarten age. There are four year old children and older men and women who suffer from anorexia and bulimia.
Eating disorders have high and disturbing mortality rates: about 6% per decade (according to Attia & Walsh, 2007).