Disorders - Know the Warning Signs
you know that women are twice as likely as men
to diet even though men are more likely to be
overweight, that a quarter of all pregnant women
are actually distressed by weight gain, and
that 85% of girls under the age of 12 worry
about how they look?
fact is - eating disorders have no bounds. Although
the majority struggling with eating disorders
are adolescent girls and young women - women
and men of every age, race, financial situation,
and occupation are also affected.
most recent annual Eating Disorders Awareness
Week highlighted the prevalence of anorexia,
bulimia, compulsive eating and weight preoccupation
among North Americans. This is no surprise given
some of the latest statistics around body and
weight issues: (the following statistics are
based on Canadian research; but they closely
parallel studies in the United States).
to 85% of girls under 12 worry "a lot"
about the way they look. For boys, low self-esteem
is associated with thinness; for girls it
6% of Canadian youths have abused steroids.
links exist between parental dieting and
encouraging children to diet.
75% of female teens want to lose weight;
many of these are already underweight.
6 million Canadian women think they weigh
too much, even those the majority are at
a healthy weight.
of Canadian women diet for appearance, not
pregnant women struggle with issues around
body image, weight and shape.
of women and 35% of men are dieting at any
children in grades three and four say they'd
rather lose a parent, get cancer, or live
through a nuclear war than be fat.
disorders are not just about food, shape and
weight. They involve problems with identity
and self-concept that are influenced by a host
of factors. Some of the warning signs of eating
Refusal to eat
Preoccupation with food, weight and dieting
Denial of hunger
Guilt and shame about eating
Frequent binge eating
Frequent use of laxatives or diuretics
Avoidance of friends and family
resources on how to prevent or support someone
with an eating disorder, please call your local
health unit or clinic. For information on treatment
services, call your local Mental Health Centre.
Also, check this website for resources:
Romaniw, B.A.Sc., R.D.N., is the
Community Nutritionist at the Upper Fraser Valley
Health Unit, Abbotsford, British Columbia, (604)
864-3400. Related Articles: "Just another
five pounds" nearly killed me Healthy body
image Check out these resources on the web:
National Eating Disorder Information Centre
Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc.
Eating Disorders Shared Awareness