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People Urged to Talk Openly About Eating Disorders

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In an interview available through YNN, Lynn Grefe of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has stated that openly discussing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, can open the door to helping those with these potentially life threatening illnesses.

She goes on to say that eating disorders are biological conditions that are treatable. Often individuals with eating disorders start by following a diet which quickly spirals out of control. An eating disorder is not about food as much as underlying emotional problems. People with eating disorders suffer from anxiety and depression which exacerbates their condition.

Eating disorders may occur among a wide range of people, including men and children. It is no longer just an illness that affects young females. Grefe notes in the interview, that there has been a 37 percent increase in hospitalizations for men with eating disorders in a 5 year period. In the US, it is estimated that close to 10 million people are affected by an eating disorder.

Health care professionals concerned about the impact of eating disorders on children, advise parents to observe their child’s eating habits. A counselor who specializes in eating disorders may be consulted if parents are worried about their child’s weight, or notice a sudden change in eating patterns.

Grefe emphasizes that there is no shame to having an eating disorder, and it is nobody’s fault. By openly talking about eating disorders, it is hoped that stigma will be reduced, and more people will be encouraged to seek treatment for these serious illnesses.

Source: YNN (Your News Now). Interview available online at http://centrainy.ynn.com/content/health/554520/child-wellness---eating-d...