by Kathleen Mammel, M.D., director of Adolescent Medicine, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak; medical director of the Hough Center for Eating Disorders at Beaumont Children’s Hospital
Eating disorders are serious biologic, psychological and developmental illnesses with life-threatening physical and psychological complications regardless of an individual’s weight.
- Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.
- Eating disorders affect males and females of every size, as well as all ethnicities and all levels of wealth and education.
- Even people of average weight can have eating disorders. Even people who are overweight can be improperly nourished or engage in unhealthy weight control practices, such as restrictive dieting, purging, use of diet pills or binge eating
- Eating disorders don’t always start with dieting or other behaviors aimed at weight loss. Medical illness or psychological symptoms can interfere with nutrition and simultaneously disrupt brain chemistry leading to an eating disorder.
- An eating disorder should be considered as the possible cause of significant weight loss in any otherwise healthy individual. Continue reading