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What is Orthorexia Nervosa?

Orthorexia Nervosa is not a diagnosable eating disorder, according to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), nor is it planned to be included in the updated version scheduled for 2013. Researchers are investigating the symptoms described as orthorexia nervosa. Rather than a desire to lose weight, those who suffer from orthorexia nervosa want to feel healthy, natural, and/or pure.

Definition

Orthorexia Nervosa is a term that was coined in 1997 by Dr. Steven Bratman to describe those who have an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy foods.
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What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder affects two percent of the population overall and eight percent of people who are obese. It is an eating disorder in the “Not Otherwise Specified” category.

Definition

Binge eating disorder is characterized by periodic out of control food binges, but it does not include purging or overexercising to compensate for the calories ingested.

Symptoms

  • Episodes of binge eating, defined as eating an abnormally large amount of food and feeling out of control of eating, twice weekly on average for six months
  • Binges include shame about the amount ingested, eating when not hungry, rapid ingestion, and/or physical discomfort after eating
  • Episodes of binge eating cause emotional distress
  • Purging and other compensatory behaviors are not associated with binge eating disorder
  • Binge eating disorder cannot be diagnosed if one has an active diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa
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What is Bulimia?

Bulimia is destructive both physically and mentally. The repetitive vomiting that is sometimes a part of bulimia can cause dental discoloration and swollen cheeks. Those who suffer from bulimia generally also suffer from low self-esteem. Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse are all risk factors for developing bulimia.

People who suffer from bulimia are more likely than others to have parents with substance abuse or mental health struggles. Participation in activities that generally require slenderness can also contribute to the development of bulimia.


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What is Anorexia?

Incidences of anorexia have been increasing over the last several decades. Anorexia is destructive both physically and mentally. Up to 20 percent of sufferers die as a result of health complications created by malnutrition and low body weight or suicide. Those who develop anorexia can often be described as perfectionists, overachievers, or pleasers. Often highly self-critical, they may see themselves as inadequate, positive feedback from others. Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse are all risk factors for developing anorexia. Any negative parental influence or participation in activities that generally require slenderness can also contribute to the development of anorexia.


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