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Important Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder

May 15, 2008
There must be some reason why some girls are never happy with the way their bodies look while other girls are always comfortable in their own skins. Why is this? There are many factors, and self esteem issues are only one of the possibilities.

Gender is definitely an influence in whether or not you'll tend to develop an eating disorder. Even though women still outnumber men, the number of young males diagnosed with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia is rising at a distressing rate.

Age does matter: while eating disorders have been known to either occur or recur as late as middle age, the bulk of eating disorder sufferers are younger, in their teens or early twenties.

Your chance of developing an eating disorder increases greatly if a family member also suffers from a disorder. You might think it would influence you in the opposite direction, but instead it sometimes makes it socially acceptable.

An eating disorder can easily strike those with an obsessive compulsive disorder - it's just another way to exert control over their lives. Similarly, women who are depressed or anxious are more likely to have an eating disorder.

Another risk factor is having a fixation with exercise. If you're overdoing it at the gym or you participate in competitive athletics, then you could be more likely to develop an eating disorder because you incorrectly think that depriving your body of food will improve your performance.

And then there are the societal pressures that impact your self image to a huge extent. If your mom or sister frequently remarks on your less-than-perfect body and hints that you could lose a few pounds, even with a teasing approach, things can take a terrible twist into an eating disorder that destroys your body.

If you happen to fall into any of the above categories, you should take steps to ensure that you won't fall victim to an eating disorder - or if you already suffer from one, prevent the condition from worsening. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for your body type and how best to maintain it.

Work on building your self esteem and confidence and try to avoid people who criticize you all of the time. Don't listen to these bad influences that are driving you to an eating disorder.

Don't get caught up in the fantasy of looking like a supermodel off the cover of Vogue magazine; it is far better to focus on becoming a beautiful person on the inside. Advances in technology allow the editors to remove imperfections from these beautiful models (who are, understandably, grateful).
About the Author
Kim Archer writes about women's wellness. She is publisher of The Internet Spa, where you'll find up-to-date information to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit.
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