Eating disorders are serious health conditions that can sabotage virtually every aspect of a person's life. Untreated eating disorders can progress in severity and become life-threatening, requiring professional help to treat and manage.

An estimated 30 million Americans, 20 million of whom are women, are affected by an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Although symptoms most often develop by young adulthood, an eating disorder can occur at any age. Certain traits—including perfectionism, impulsiveness and the need for control—seem to predispose a person to develop an eating disorder.

Most common eating disorders

The three most common types of eating disorders are:

Anorexia nervosa

People who suffer from anorexia are usually severely underweight and have a heightened fear of gaining weight. Anorexia nervosa goes hand in hand