Eating and Weight Disorders

Eating and weight disorders can affect females and males across the age spectrum. While obesity is a visible health issue, eating disorders can go undetected for long periods of time, compounding the risk that they might cause lasting damage.

Determining whether you or someone you love has a problem with food or weight is complicated by the fact that many people have clinically significant symptoms without a full blown feeding or eating disorder diagnosis. These manifestations are more common than full criteria diagnoses. Although their symptoms may not be consistent with a feeding or eating disorder diagnosis, many individuals in the community have a partial diagnosis, and they often experience symptoms that significantly affect their functioning in school, at work, or at home, and are deserving of treatment. Because certain symptoms, such as occasional purging, can eventually evolve into a full-blown eating disorder, early intervention is very important. Moreover, early identification and treatment of feeding and eating disorders is associated with a good chance at long-term recovery. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for various stages of illness, and one should never lose hope.