Identifying eating disorders

We all know that the unfortunate reality is many people battle an eating disorder at some stage, commonly in adolescence.

Eating disorders can have dire consequences, and preventing them through sound self-esteem and healthy body image promotion is the best approach.

If you are concerned that a friend or relative may be battling an eating disorder, there are some warning signs to look out for.

Behaviour

– repetitive or constant dieting
– binge eating (such as stocking up heavily on food for a binge)
– laxative abuse or vomiting (such as constant trips to the bathroom at meal times)
– compulsive exercising or over exercising (training through injury or in poor weather, getting upset if they cannot exercise)
– obsessive body checking behaviours (constantly looking in the mirror, constantly weighing themselves)
– sudden change in clothing style
– sneaky around food, for example throwing food out without telling
– social withdrawal or no longer doing previously enjoyed activities

Physical

– sudden or quick weight loss
– fluctuations in weight
– signs of regular vomiting (tooth damage, swollen cheeks, calluses on knuckles
– fatigue
– constantly feeling cold

Psychological

– great fear of gaining weight
– negative body image
– becomes anxious at meal times
– low self-esteem
– preoccupation with food or activities connected to food
– distorted body image (says fat when not, or vice versa)

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