About Eating Concerns

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About Eating Concerns

What is an eating concern?

Eating concerns include disordered or chaotic eating patterns, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. An eating concern may also involve body dissatisfaction and/or obsession with exercise. 

  • Distorted or dysfunctional eating that does not fit the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder.
  • Examples include irregular or chaotic eating, fasting, bingeing, dieting, emotional eating, feeling remorse or guilt after eating, preoccupation with food and weight, over exercising.
  • Eating is often dictated by externally-connected cues such as counting calories instead of normal controls of hunger and satiety.

Signs and symptoms of eating concerns include:

  • Preoccupation with your weight or shape, food, or exercise
  • Isolation or avoidance of social situations because there will be food present
  • Inability to menstruate
  • Feeling out of control while eating or around food
  • A negative attitude about your body, weight, or shape; often compare yourself to others
  • Unhealthy relationship with food and exercise
  • Extreme weight fluctuations
  • Inability to partake in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Feeling numb and empty inside like your life lacks fulfillment or happiness

An eating disorder includes the following:

  • Anorexia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.
  • Bulimia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.
  • Binge eating disorder is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.

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