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Eating disorders

Feet on scaleEating disorders can affect both young men and young women. The origins of these problems aren't always obvious, although the emotional difficulties of teenage life can clearly cause them.

The most widely diagnosed eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Anorexia sufferers avoid eating and tend to weigh at least 15% less than they should. They feel they are fat even when they appear very thin to other people. This can be an extremely serious, life threatening condition.

Sufferers of bulimia tend to maintain their body weight by binge eating in secret and then making themselves sick to dispose of the food they have eaten. Binge eating and vomiting can have serious damage on the teeth, heart, kidneys and muscles.

Food addiction is another form of eating disorder. In this case, food is used as a comfort and distraction. Overeating could lead to obesity and other serious medical problems.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing any potential signs of eating disorders there are organisations and services which can help.