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Everyone has heard of anorexia and bulimia. Everyone knows the danger of these eating disorders and how they affect millions of people both directly and indirectly. Yet how many people know about binge eating disorder?
Very few people have even heard of BED (binge eating disorder) and many of those who have heard of it don’t fully understand it. BED is often perceived as an excuse for obesity and put off as fake or not as serious as other eating disorders. Our community is extremely misinformed. Binge eating disorder is a mental illness (as are anorexia and bulimia) yet it affects about 3.5% of women and 2% of men, making it the most common eating disorder.
Unlike other common eating disorders, BED affects a large amount of men, with one-third of BED sufferers being male. People are also unaware of the dangers of BED. With anorexia and bulimia, the effects of the disorder are obviously life threatening; however not many people understand the effects of binge eating disorder. Contrary to common belief, not everyone with BED is obese and the disorder develops in children, teens and adults.
Some of the consequences of binge eating disorder include: obesity, type two diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, gallbladder disease, heart disease and even certain types of cancer. These effects are just as dangerous as those caused by anorexia and bulimia, yet BED is not thought of as life-threatening.
Perhaps it is because BED is associated with obesity and the society we have created looks down upon being overweight. In order to help people suffering from BED and prevent others from developing the disorder, it is crucial to raise awareness of the truth of the disorder.
People often forget that BED is a mental disorder; therefore besides the physical health concerns presented with BED there are also serious mental issues. BED is not simply over eating-it is a loss of control when eating and results in intense shame, guilt, self-hate and depression. People often binge in secret, hiding their disorder from others due to embarrassment and fear of other people’s reactions. The environment we live in does not accept those who are overweight, regardless of the reason. Our society is centered on beauty and the impossible, unhealthy ideal and people with BED have a hard enough struggle with themselves without the pressure from our society. We live in a community that is more accepting of disorders such as anorexia and bulimia even though they are less common and no more dangerous than BED. BED is a serious mental illness and dangerous eating disorder that needs to be better understood. Although it is difficult to communicate the feelings of those suffering BED it is essential that we try.
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adrienne7716 said...
Apr. 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm
Hi everyone, sorry about the formatting issues.  For some reason none of the indentations showed up.  I hope it's not too hard to read! Thanks!

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