Eating Disorders

Morgan Rast, Editor

Eating disorders are extremely common among teens in high school, but many suffer in silence and we
need to start raising awareness.

There are multiple forms of eating disorders. The most common are a binge eating disorder, bulimia
nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.

The binge eating disorder is when people have multiple binge eating episodes. People with this can feel
loss of control. Unlike the other eating disorders, there is nothing that comes after. They simply go on
binge eating episodes.

Anorexia is another common eating disorder. It is an intense fear of gaining weight as well as a distorted
perception of weight. People who have anorexia usually severely restrict the amount of food they eat.
This can be in the form of restricting calories or not eating certain types of foods.

The other major eating disorder is bulimia. People with bulimia typically go on a secret eating binge then
they force themselves to vomit or exercise to an unhealthy extent. Sometimes people with bulimia will
also use laxatives, enemas or diuretics when they aren’t needed. Sometimes they will use herbal
products excessively to try and loose weight.

11% of high school students have a diagnosed eating disorder.

Among the girls in high school that participate in sports, about 41.5% of them suffer from an eating
disorder. 33% of males who participate in athletics also have or show signs of an eating disorder. This is
far too many, and these are only diagnosed cases.

There are many songs that hint or talk about eating disorders to spread awareness or make it something
more normalized that we can talk about.

Melanie Martinez made a song in her newer album “K-12” about bulimia and the struggles of it.

There are many resources to help people who have eating disorders.

There are two types of talk therapy that may help: Family based therapy and Cognitive behavioral
therapy.

Family based therapy is where a therapist helps the whole family to help the teen. It tries to find any
possible underlying causes within the house. There is also a family meal session early in the therapy
sessions where the patient is asked to resist, and parents are coached in how to overcome the
resistance.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an evidence-based treatment for eating disorders. It helps to let the
patient understand what’s going on with there thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It also helps to show what to do when they are having these thoughts or feelings. They also work to help change the
unhealthy habits and behaviors.

There are also lots of online and in person therapies you can attend.

The National Eating Disorder Association has a support system and a hotline for anyone seeking help at
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline

Sources:
National Eating Disorder Association 
Eating Recovery Center
Prevent Disease
National Eating Disorder Association 2
Mayo Clinic
Feast Ed