Eating disorder

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Eating disorders refer to a group of conditions characterized by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual's physical and emotional health, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa being the most common specific forms in the United States.[1] Though primarily thought of as affecting females (an estimated 5–10 million being affected in the U.S.), eating disorders affect males as well (an estimated 1 million U.S. males being affected).[2][3][4] Although eating disorders are increasing all over the world among both men and women, there is evidence to suggest that it is women in the Western world who are at the highest risk of developing them and the degree of westernization increases the risk. [5]

The reason for eating disorders are poorly known, but, it might involve other conditions and situations. One study showed that girls with ADHD has a greater chance of getting an eating disorder than those not affected by ADHD.[6][7] One study showed that foster girls are more likely to develop bulimia nervosa.[8] Some also think that peer pressure and idealized body-types seen in the media are also a significant factor. However, research shows that for some people there is a genetic reason why they may be prone to developing an eating disorder.[9]

While proper treatment can be highly effective for many of the specific types of eating disorder, the consequences of eating disorders can be severe, including death[10][11][12] (whether from direct medical effects of disturbed eating habits or from comorbid conditions such as suicidal thinking).[13][14]


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