Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Are You Dieting Or Do You Just Have An Eating Disorder?

eatingdisorders AFFINITY MAGAZINE
Photo Credit To Affinity Magazine

Her weight loss was dramatic, I observed. Sandra was a little bit depressed and as a result she barely ate. But that wasn’t enough to make her lose weight because her depressed state didn’t last that long. However, whenever she ate she hardly kept it down because she goes on to induce vomiting. And that was how she lost her weight.

A disordered eating may be different from an eating disorder as a disordered eating is more or less an abnormal relationship with food that may not necessarily interfere with one’s life or functioning; an example is calorie counting. However eating disorders are psychiatric disorders which have strict criteria that have to be evaluated and fulfilled for the disorder to be diagnosed, interfere with one’s functioning.

The most common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric condition characterized by restriction of food intake, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. Such people use extreme efforts that tend to significantly affect their lives in other to control their weight.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by repeated or compulsive binge eating followed by inappropriate ways of trying to get rid of the food eaten; either by self-induced vomiting or laxatives etc.

Binge eating is an eating disorder characterized by frequent and recurrent binge eating episodes with associated negative psychological and social problems, but without subsequent purging episodes.

For such people, their relationship with food becomes the center of their lives and a sole focus at the expense of other aspects of life.

People with eating disorders tend to be very secretive about it, so it is important to know how to identify the signs. They include but are not limited to the following;

.Behaviors and attitudes that indicate that weight loss, dieting and control of food are becoming primary concerns.

.Food rituals

.Uncomfortable eating around others

.Skipping meals or having small portions of food at regular meals

.Frequent dieting

.Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance

.Social withdrawal and isolation

.Strict dieting and avoiding food they think is fattening

.Mood swings

.Dramatic weight loss

A disordered eating is just a beginning of the spectrum; but one can easily tip over to having an eating disorder.

As we enter the eating disorders awareness week, let us turn on our radar in order to identify and help people around us who are going through this. Visit to discover tips on how to help someone with an eating disorder.

About The Author

Chinazo Iloeje is a Medical Doctor at Garnetcare Medical Center, Abuja. She hopes that through her writing, new health discoveries and other important health information would be made known to all Africans.

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