The National Institute of Health and Clinical excellence suggests that 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder (Beat, 2010). However, more recent research from the NHS information centre showed that up to 6.4% of adults displayed signs of an eating disorder (Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 2007).The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The third category is EDNOS (eating disorders not otherwise specified), which includes several variations of eating disorders such as binge eating. Out of the 6.4% adults found to display signs of eating disorders; 10% of sufferers are anorexic, 40% are bulimic, and the rest fall into the EDNOS category (Beat, 2010). It’s a sad truth that most young people at some point in their adult development will experience worries about their weight and/or shape.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, a distortion of body image and intense fear of gaining weight (www.athealth.com). Most people suffering from anorexia appear to outsiders as ‘normal’ but believe that they are ‘ugly’. (Independence, 2010, page 1). People suffering with Bulimia nervosa also worry about weight; but they alternate between eating next to nothing and binge eating. They then vomit or take laxatives to maintain their weight (Independence, 2010, page 1). Signs of eating disorders range from missing meals, claiming they have already eaten or eating alone to complaining of being fat even though they have a normal weight or are underweight. Eating disorders are associated with severe medical and psychological consequences, including death, growth and developmental delay and significant medical complications in all of the primary human organ systems, including the skeleton and the skin. Change in skin is a pointer to the diagnosis of eating disorders. It is a consequence of starvation and/or... [continues]
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