Eating Disorders : A Serious Medical Condition

1844 Words Apr 22nd, 2015 8 Pages
Eating disorders are a serious medical condition that have the potential to be life-threatening. There are three main types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Although eating disorders affect both genders, rates are two and a half times greater among women and girls than among men and boys and existing research has found that an interaction of factors (genetic, biological, psychological, and social) can cause eating disorders, although the specific causes of eating disorders remains unclear (National Institute of Mental Health).
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder that causes someone to weigh less than what is considered healthy based on their age and height. Symptoms of AN include severe food restriction, extremely low body weight, relentless pursuit of thinness, unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, distorted body image and self-esteem, intense fear of gaining weight, lack of menstruation among girls and women, as well as other medical complications that can develop from chronic forms of AN. Eating disorders commonly coexist with other illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression, or substance abuse and of all psychiatric disorders, AN is associated with the highest mortality rate. (National Institute of Mental Health)
Eating disorders usually develop during adolescence (Le Grange & Loeb, 2007). The developmental changes that occur during this stage of life may help explain why research has found…
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