Disordered Eating


By: Nikki Nies

Every one knows someone who has struggled with a daily eating habit, even if a loved one hasn’t been officially labeled as to have an eating disorder.  One doesn’t have to be classified as struggling with an eating disorder to seek help.

In actuality, there’s an additional term, disordered eating, which isn’t as publicly recognized. Disordered Eating.

Disordered eating is eating in a way that could or does harm you physically or psychological

The cause of disordered eating may be due to the desire to lose weight, attempt to achieve unrealistic body ideals, genetic factors, trauma, mental illness, childhood family patterns, medical condition,a way to handle stress and/or manage weight.  Disordered eating habits can occur in “waves” or occur for long periods of time.

Indicators of disordered eating may include:

  • Overexercising
  • Fasting or juice cleanses to lose weight
  • Following strict food rules
  • Eliminating an entire food group from diet (i.e. carbohydrates) besides for religious, cultural or preexisting reasons (vegetarian)
  • Eating the same “safe” foods daily
  • Extreme calorie counting and/or restriction
  • Thinking about food more than 50% of the time
  • Lying about how much was consumed
  • Bingeing or vomiting
  • Smoking for weight loss
  • Intentionally skipping meals or “forgetting to eat”
  • Consuming a lot of low cal or no cal foods
  • Weighing oneself obsessively
  • Adopting a new diet solely for weight loss (i.e. becoming a vegan)
  • Visiting pro-bulimia or pro-anorexia websites
  • Consistently overeating when not hungry
  • Strong fear of gaining 5 lbs.
  • “Dieting” for more than 3/4 of one’s life
  • Use of diet pills and/or laxatives

What’s the difference between disordered eating and eating disorders, you ask? Well, an eating disorder can be classified as disordered eating, but disordered eating isn’t always recognized as an eating disorder. Disordered eating is not easily defined either.

Disordered eating can lead to early onset of osteoporosis, muscle cramps, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, poor sleep quality, weight gain and/or lead to an eating disorder (i.e. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or Eating Disorder Otherwise Not Specified).

Check out my secondary blog, No DEED Goes Unnoticed, which is about Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders (DEED)at nodeedgoesunnoticed.wordpress.com.  If you or a loved one is struggling with disordered eating there are numerous resources waiting to help you.  Every situation and individual is different and deserves specialized attention to problem at hand.  Check out a thorough list of available resources at http://nodeedgoesunnoticed.wordpress.com/resources/

If this information could help a loved one, please pass on in a kindly manner.  Thank you.

Sources: http://www.nedc.com.au/disordered-eating





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