Ways to Spot and Prevent an Eating Disorder

WellnessOnly one in ten people with an eating disorder receives treatment, and 20 percent will die prematurely due to complications related to their eating disorder. February 26 through March 4 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Eating disorders affect about eight million women and one million men in the United States.

People with eating disorders often display extreme emotions, attitudes and behaviors about food, weight loss and their body image. One of the most predominate eating disorders is anorexia nervosa. Sufferers of anorexia refuse to maintain a body weight that is normal for their age, height and body type. There are several symptoms warning of anorexia including:

  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Feeling fat despite thinness
  • Cessation of menstrual periods
  • Dramatic weight loss and continual dieting
  • Obsession with calories, fat grams and dieting
  • Denial of hunger
  • Development of odd food rituals, such as eating foods in a certain order, cutting food into small pieces or excessive chewing
  • Hair loss

Eating disorders can be treated but the sufferer must realize they have a disease and be willing to ask for help. If someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association at (800) 931-2237.

Many employers now offer wellness programs to encourage and educate employees on the signs, symptoms and prevention of diseases and to promote a healthy lifestyle. For more information on implementing a corporate wellness program at your company, contact an AssuredPartners NL Director of Health and Productivity.


Sources: Zywave, CDC

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