Eating Disorders For Dummies
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If you lined up all the people in the United States who eat, you'd have a spectrum ranging from Normal Eaters on one end to People with Eating Disorders on the other. Who's in the middle? Most of the eating spectrum is taken up by people who don't have formal eating disorders but who have eating habits and beliefs that are disordered. Up to 60 percent of adult American women may be disordered eaters.

The following behaviors or beliefs are considered examples of disordered eating. The more of these behaviors or beliefs you have, the more at risk you are for developing an actual eating disorder:

  • Skipping meals

  • Fasting to lose weight

  • Exercising to make up for overeating

  • Cutting out a food group

  • Trying every diet there is

  • Regularly eating an amount of food that leaves you hungry

  • Eating to manage emotions

  • Binge-eating

  • Using laxatives or diuretics for weight loss

  • Vomiting for weight loss

  • Believing the scales reveal your worth

  • Being constantly preoccupied with food and weight

  • Being extremely fearful of weight gain

  • Believing you are fat even when everyone else tells you you're too thin

About This Article

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Susan Schulherr has been a highly respected psychotherapist in private practice for 30 years. She has presented to professional and non-professional audiences on weight and eating issues and has trained at the national level.

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