Eating disorders are the result of serious psychological issues that present as an excessive focus on body weight and shape, and thus affect the way someone consumes food, leading to the development of extreme eating habits. Most notably, people with eating disorders are associated with binge eating, purging by self-induced vomiting, restrictive dieting and extreme exercising.
These behaviors make it difficult for the body to get the nutrients it needs, but more than that, eating disorders can also lead to a wide variety of mental and physical complications, including problems with the heart, bones, digestive system, teeth and mouth. Left untreated, a severe eating disorder may even cause death.
According to recent surveys, more than 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will have an eating disorder at some time in their life.
It's not known exactly what triggers an eating disorder, but it is widely believed to result from a combination of psychological, biological and societal pressures and influences on a person. There is no particular demographic—race, religion, age, gender, sexual