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Archived News Article: Information may be out of date
April 13, 2022

Eating Disorders Awareness

Eating Disorders Awareness
Eating Disorders Awareness

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, up to 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder during their life. Eating disorders can affect anyone, no matter what existing health problems they might have. Eating disorders are serious and can be life threatening but can be helped with treatment.

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are conditions that affect healthy eating. The most common eating disorders in the U.S. are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge-eating. Common signs of these eating disorders to look out for include:

  • Frequent dieting
  • New worry for body image or shape
  • Too much focus on weight and calories
  • Pulling away from friends or family and usual activities
  • Mood swings
  • Skipping meals

The National Institutes of Health provides specific symptoms for anorexia nervosa, binge-eating, and bulimia nervosa:

Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Extremely limited eating 
  • Extreme thinness
  • Strong fear of weight gain

Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Long-lasting sore throat
  • Swelling in the neck and jaw
  • Dehydration from purging
  • Sensitive or rotting teeth from stomach acid


  • Eating even when full or not hungry
  • Eating too quickly
  • Often dieting
  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in short spans

Resources for Eating Disorders recognizes it can be very difficult to ask for help with an eating disorder. There are many resources and treatment options available. The National Eating Disorders Association has a screening tool to help identify which disorders you or a loved one might have. Programs like Medicaid and Medicare can help you get covered for treatment. Treatment for eating disorders can differ and is often provided by specialists like psychiatrists or psychotherapists. A great first step is speaking with your doctor to find effective treatment for your situation. Without treatment, eating disorders can lead to many other medical problems, and eventually be fatal.

If you or a loved one have an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline for support, resources, and to hear about treatment options at 1-800-931-2237, Monday through Friday. You can also text “NEDA” to 741741 if you are experiencing a crisis to be contacted by a trained volunteer or visit the National Eating Disorders Association website to chat with a trained volunteer online. If you or a loved one is at risk for suicide, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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