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Healthwise: Eating Disorders

February 1, 2012

Eating disorders can cause massive problems such as heart disease and diabetes to anyone that suffers from them. The good news is that they can be treated.

The most common eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia.

Anorexia is when a person maintains a low weight that is 85% of what a normal weight would be. This person may starve his or herself, be obsessed with body weight and/or have a fear of weight gain.

A person suffering with bulimia may have a normal weight or even be overweight. This person also has binge periods and wants to get rid of those extra calories by either purging or excessive exercise.

Some warning signs of an eating disorder include: skipping a meal, excessive weight loss and changes in mood, mental or physical health.

Dianne Vitt, a registered dietitian at Martha Jefferson Hospital, works closely with people who deal with eating disorders. She says that if you notice any of these signs, it may be time to visit a doctor and contact a dietitian like Vitt.

" I will assess your nutritional intake and determine whether you're eating enough how serious this is or whether this is something we can work on over the course of a few weeks to get your eating back on track or whether we need to involve other trained professionals," says Vitt.

Vitt also says that eating disorders are more prevalent in teenagers than young women, but no one is exempt from having the disease.

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