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Five Eating Disorder Myths Debunked




Thin girl with an empty plate standing in the center of the room closeup, malnutrition harms health.

Did you know that 28 million Americans will have an eating disorder at least once in their lifetime? If you suspect that you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, one of the most helpful things you can do is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. You should dissuade yourself from any common myths about eating disorders so that you don’t accidentally miss any eating disorder signs.

Below, we’ll be looking at some of the most pervasive eating disorder myths, why they’re incorrect, and what the truth about eating disorders is. Read on for all the essential info.

1. Only Teenage Girls Get Eating Disorders

This is a common and outdated misconception that’s still held by a surprising amount of people to this day. As a demographic, older teen and young adult females are at a greater risk of developing eating disorders, but it’s a disease that can affect anyone. Male, female, or non-binary, young or old, nobody is immune to this type of disorder.

2. It’s Not a Serious Disease

There are some people who are of the opinion that an eating disorder amounts to little more than extreme dieting and doesn’t present such a great risk to either society or those it affects. This is a patently false and harmful idea.

In the US, 10,200 deaths each year occur as the direct result of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are diseases that have the potential to tear families apart and even take a person’s life.

3. People With Eating Disorders Look a Certain Way

When you hear the term “eating disorder” you might be picturing a very frail-looking thin person who’s pretty much skin and bone. While this is one way that eating disorders can physically manifest in people, it’s certainly not the only way.

People of all races, sizes, and body shapes can struggle with eating disorders. You won’t be able to tell just by looking at someone if they’re affected. It requires a deeper psychological evaluation.

4. Eating Disorders Are Exclusively Restrictive

There are some eating disorders—such as anorexia—that do involve restricting the amount of food eaten, but this isn’t the only symptom to look out for. There are other types of eating disorders that revolve around an inability to stop eating. To learn more about binge eating disorders see this site:

5. Eating Disorders Are All About Food

Food is definitely a big aspect of any eating disorder, but it’s rarely the root cause of the issue. Often, an eating disorder will manifest as a trauma response, a means of control, or because of genetics. Recognizing eating disorders as the complex diseases they are is important for effective treatment.

Eating Disorder Myths Debunked

These eating disorder myths can help to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and misconceptions around what is actually a serious set of diseases. We hope that this article has left you more informed on the truth regarding disordered eating.

If you’re looking for more health and medical tips, there’s plenty more where that came from. Check out the rest of our articles now.

I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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