Eating Disorder Signs and Symptoms Checklist
Helping you spot if your loved one may be developing issues with food & the way they look
Living in today’s society we are constantly being exposed to diet culture. Quick fixes, extreme weight loss, magic pills, fat burning exercise routines, we just can’t escape it! It is no wonder that the number of eating disorders recorded annually worldwide has doubled in the last 18 years!
Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last month found that between 200 and 2018 the number of people suffering from an Eating Disorder doubled from 3.4% to 7.8%.
We are now talking 70 million sufferers worldwide!
What is the most effective way to help someone displaying signs of food issues or Eating Disorders?
Understand what the warning signs are that they are developing an unhealthy relationship with food before it gets out of hand!
Looking back on my journey, my issues with food began a long 4 years before I fell into the trap of Anorexia and Bulimia. I started to become more aware of the way my body looked and in particular, the parts I did not like. The more I focused on this the more I want to change my weight. So I embarked on my first diet at 16 years old; Slimfast shakes, bars, skipping meals and increasing my exercise. Unfortunately, my parents were not aware of the warning signs I was displaying nor understood how my unhealthy behaviours were progressing. If they did know how to spot these issues developing maybe I could have got help long before it progressed into a serious illness.
The main problem when trying to understand food and body image issues is that there are so many combinations that someone can display and even in some cases they will hide these symptoms from people around them; which is why this knowledge and understanding is absolutely essential. I have developed a complete checklist of warning signs which cover food, weight, exercise and extending in life effects as people can display different signs across all of these different categories.
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It is important to realise that not all of these warning signs mean that your loved has an Eating Disorder. These can also be signs that they are starting to struggle with food and the way they look and may need some early help before it progresses any further. Dieting and starting to focus on food and weight may not be the cause of Eating Disorders but they are often a precursor.
Research has found that:
50% of young girls and 25% of young boys have tried dieting to change their body
More than 33% of girls who are at a healthy weight try to diet
Up to 50% of women are on a diet at any one time
Moderate dieting = 5x more likely to develop and Eating Disorder
Extreme dieting = 18x more likely to develop and Eating Disorder
These stats just highlight the importance of understanding your loved ones changes in behaviour and be able to recognise when a simple comment about their appearance or slight change in appetite for example is going too far.
If you are worried about someone who may be displaying some or many of these signs, please go to my website and book in a free chat to ask questions and get some advice from a specialist in food issues and Eating Disorders.