Thursday, 26 April 2018

Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and BED- Symptoms, Epidemiology And Etiology

Eating Disorders


Studies show that 1/3 of boys and one-half of girls have engaged in some kind of unhealthy behavior to control the weight behaviors like fasting, skipping meals and smoking for their weight down. 


Few facts about eating disorders and also some signs that it's time to seek help.  A diet is not the same thing as an eating disorder but diets can lead to eating disorders because they encourage preoccupation with food and with your weight.


Eating Disorders Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and BED- Symptoms And Aetiology orders
 One of the common myths about eating disorders and dieting is that it's all about the weight but its wrong in fact diets can actually give us a perceived sense of control over our lives, taking a diet to the extreme can have serious consequences for your mental and physical health. 


The negative side effects of extreme dieting can include a preoccupation with food. Actually, extreme dieting has been proven to lower your metabolism over the long term which makes it even harder to lose weight and stay fit in the future.



Etiology of Eating disorders- The exact etiology of an eating disorder is still not known yet. But the best way to consider eating disorders as having a complex multifactorial etiology involving cultural, family, genetic, and other biological factors as well.


 For many years AN was thought to be primarily culturally influenced disorders. High co-morbidity with Depression and Anxiety disorders suggests possible shared etiology with those disorders. 


Other potential risk factors include- Early childhood eating, childhood sex abuse.


  Whereas, low confidence(poor self-esteem) and excessive self-criticism are seen in both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. 


An obsessive-compulsive personality(Perfectionism) disorder is associated with AN and  Borderline personality disorder (impulsivity) is associated with BN.


(Also, read Personality Disorder: Types, Causes, And Symptoms: Cluster A, Cluster B, and Subtypes.)



Types of Eating Disorders: Signs and Symptoms


                         1. Anorexia Nervosa (AN)


1). Clinical symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa are as follows-

  • Reduced body weight.

  • Self-perception that one is too fat 

  • Intense fear of gaining weight and becoming fat

  • Self-induced weight loss by starvation, vomiting, excessive exercise, misuse of laxatives, appetite suppressants, etc.


2). Common behaviors are seen in Anorexia Nervosa-

  • Wearing multiple layers of clothing.

  •  While eating- cutting food into small pieces, eating very slowly/picking at foods.

  • Counting calories in food items(before eating).

  • Preparing elaborate meals for others.


                                 2. Bulimia Nervosa

1). Clinical Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa-

  • A strong desire or compulsion (craving) to eat.

  • A large amount of food consumed within a short period(i.e under 2 hours).

  • Lack of control over eating.

  • Self-perception of being too fat (even a person having a normal weight).


                                      3. Binge Eating Disorder  


1). Clinical Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder-

  •  Eating more faster than usual.

  • Eating even when not hungry.

  • Eating alone(due to embarrassment).

  • Feeling disgusted with self or guilty afterward.

  • No compensatory behaviors like starvation and vomiting 

Types of food that are consumed in Binge eating disorders are mainly cakes, ice-creams, donuts, cookies, chips, etc.
According to the definition, a patient with Anorexia Nervosa has an underweight, a patient with  Bulimia Nervosa are usually with a normal weight and patient with BED tends to have an overweight.



Epidemiology of Anorexia Nervosa-



The Lifetime Prevalence of Anorexia Nervosa is about 1% in the community among females. According to the studies it is more common in females.


  • Incidence is about 8 per 100,000 population.

  • Highest Incidence (more than 100 per 100,000) is in the 15 to 19 age group.



Epidemiology of Bulimia Nervosa-

The Lifetime Prevalence of Bulimia Nervosa is about 2% (in females).


  • Incidence is about 12 per 100,000 population.

  • Much  more common in females with an F: M ratio of  about 5:1

  • Age of onset is decreasing: Highest Incidence used to be in the 25 to 29 age group, but now it is the 15 to 19 age group (due to early detection).


Epidemiology of Binge Eating Disorder-

Lifetime Prevalence is about 4% in females and 2% in males, so F: M ratio is about 2:1
  • The peak age of Incidence is between in the ages of  25 and 34 years.

Other helpful resources:

Epidemiology of Eating Disorders






Epidemiology and Course of Anorexia Nervosa in the Community




1 comment:

  1. It makes me sad that so many people suffer from these diseases. I imagine it would affect the sufferer not just physically but psychologically also.
    Photo Shop should be banned for models & in magazines etc

    ReplyDelete