This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week raises awareness

(WTVM) - In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a significant eating disorder at some time in their life.

Feb. 23 kicked off Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Dr. Paula Walker from Columbus State University tells us more.

There are many different types of eating disorders. People who suffer from anorexia nervosa are very thin and have a very restricted eating pattern. Individuals with bulimia nervosa tend to overeat and will compensate by using laxatives, purging, fasting, or excessive exercise. Binge eating disorders are different in that the individual will overeat but will not compensate by purging or other methods. Those individuals tend to be overweight.

People who suffer from an eating disorder will typically undergo a drastic weight loss, exercise excessively, use a laxative or diuretic, smoke to curb their appetite, binge eat or purge, or avoid meals.

If you see this behavior in someone, it is recommended that you encourage them to see a primary care doctor to have them evaluated.

Eating disorders are typically treated with counseling.

Watch the video for more details.

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