What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders are serious, but treatable mental illnesses that can affect any age, gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic group. There are many different types of eating disorders, with disordered thoughts, emotions and behaviors about food and eating at the core of the illness. Distorted body image can also be part of an eating disorder.
Twenty million women and ten million men in the U.S. will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Many eating disorders begin during adolescence, but an increasing number of younger children and older adults are being diagnosed with eating disorders.
It’s impossible to know, simply by looking at a person, whether or not they have an eating disorder. Eating disorders impact children, teens and adults of all body types. This is why it’s so important to understand the symptoms and warning signs that indicate whether you or someone you know may be struggling.