Eating Disorders
Binge Eating

What are Eating Disorders?

Disordered eating often (but not always) occurs in affluent cultures, especially in America, where anorexia nervosa (voluntary starvation) and bulimia nervosa (binge-eating followed by purging) now afflict one in ten people.

Most of the diagnosed are young women in their teens and 20s, but the prevalence is increasing among young men each year.

Among the most baffling of conditions, eating disorders take on a life of their own so that eating, or not eating, becomes the point of everyday existence. Both anorexia and bulimia are powered by a desire for control.

But in another eating disorder, binge-eating, in which people gorge on large amounts of food and generally gain weight, sufferers feel that eating is out of their control during such bouts.

Both culturally mediated body-image concerns and personality traits like perfectionism and obsessiveness play a large role in creating eating disorders, which are also often accompanied by depression and/or anxiety.

There is no magic cure for these conditions, which are often resistant to treatment, and many cases can be acutely life-threatening, requiring hospitalization and forced nourishment.

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Eating Disorders Tests

Emotional Eating

See if your relationship with food is healthy.

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Eating Disorders Blogs

  • Emily Troscianko

    A Hunger Artist

    Winning the battle against anorexia.
  • Marcia Herrin, Ed.D., M.P.H., R.D.

    Eating Disorders News

    Information on eating disorders and how to cope with them
  • Maria Baratta, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

    Skinny Revisited

    Using the language of anorexia to heal
  • The Guest Room

    Reports and responses from guest bloggers.
  • Ann Goebel-Fabbri, Ph.D.

    Weighty Matters

    Making peace with your body and food.
  • Judy Scheel, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

    When Food Is Family

    Key ingredients in the eating disorder mix
  • Your Write to Health

    Writing and journaling techniques that encourage self-discovery, self-acceptance, and improved self-confidence.