“Does this make me look fat?” If you are like most women, you’ve looked in the mirror and asked yourself this question more than once. Caring about our appearance is a natural part of being human, but some people are so focused on food and weight that they use unhealthy measures to keep their weight in check. This is called having an eating disorder.
While anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, these conditions are most likely to affect women and girls. In addition to the emotional toll that poor body image can have on a person’s self-esteem, the physical damage that comes from an eating disorder can destroy a person’s health.
The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. People with anorexia are so concerned with being thin that they eat so little that they starve themselves or they exercise obsessively. People with bulimia typically eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time, then try to rid their bodies of the food by vomiting or abusing laxatives or enemas. Eating disorders can be fatal if they are not treated.
Because they have such a powerful control over a person’s thought process, eating disorders can take over a person’s life, making the condition difficult to control without professional help. If you think you may have an eating disorder—or if you think someone you know might have one—speak with your doctor or your Sobeys Pharmacist. The discussion will be kept confidential and you will not be judged or lectured.