Eating Behaviour

 
 
 

Eating Behaviour

 

 
"Eating Disorder" is the term used for a group of serious mental illnesses that lead individuals to compromise their physical and mental health due to a problematic relationship with weight, body image, eating and some foods. These disorders can sometimes be a threat to life itself.

A problematic relationship with food or body image may manifest itself in the form of binge eating, purging, restriction of food, motivated exercise and a host of other issues related to eating or body image. Disorders of an eating behavior may thus take various forms, including the following:
 
 
 
 
Anorexia
 
Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa restrict caloric intake due to intense fear of gaining weight. Calorie restriction results in significant weight loss as well as other negative health consequences. Some individuals with anorexia also engage in compensatory behaviors such as excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, and use of diuretics. Anorexia can, in some cases, result in death. Affected individuals have a body image distortion and perceive themselves to be overweight, even though their weight is dangerously low.
 
 
 
Bulimia
 
It is characterized by periods of binge eating, often followed by several ways to compensate the compulsion, such as self-induced vomiting, directed exercise or other behaviors. Individuals who live with bulimia base their understanding of self-esteem on their weight or their body image.
 
 
 
 
 
Compulsive Eating
 
It is characterized by periods of compulsive food intake. Unlike bulimia, those who suffer from binge eating usually do not try to purge after binge eating. They can therefore significantly increase their weight and suffer the adverse consequences for health. Depression, shame, and low self-esteem are also often associated with binge eating.
 
 
 
Emotional Eating
 
Eating food from time to time as a prize, a reward, or to celebrate is not necessarily a bad thing. But when emotional eating is your primary coping mechanism; when your first impulse is to open the fridge whenever you are upset, angry, lonely, stressed, exhausted, or bored, you end up being stuck in a sick cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.