Anorexia and bulimia are not the only eating disorders. There are other behaviors that can be dangerous to your health.
The search for a perfect figure can lead to behaviors that are not very healthy for the body. When people go beyond maintaining a balanced diet and doing exercise, and become obsessed with their nutrition, they can fall into habits that have been declared as eating disorders in the last version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
One of these disorders is what is called avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. It is a condition in which an individual limits the food they consume to such a degree that they end up suffering from a nutritional deficiency.
While the individuals with this disorder do not lose weight as those with anorexia do, they become obsessed with eating healthy and with staying within the limits of certain standards they impose on themselves with regard to the amount of calories, fats and sugar they ingest, among other items. This leads them to eliminating several foods that are vital for good nutrition.
This type of behavior makes them suffer from vitamin and nutritional deficiencies which can cause anemia. In more serious cases, they may have to depend on artificial nutrition to gain their weight back and become healthy again.
Some recommendations for identifying and fighting eating disorders include:
- As a family member, be aware of the obsessive behavior that those in your family may have about beauty. While a certain degree of vanity is good, when individuals become fixated on having the perfect figure, they can push the limit.
- Putting a stop to obsessive thoughts around food is possible. Instead of having a meticulously strict diet, maintain healthy habits by including foods from all the food groups in the five meals of each day.
- Get to know yourself, talk about your life with others and allow them to get know what you like to eat and what your needs are.
Like anorexia, this disorder has a greater effect on women and youth and is not part of to a voluntary decision made by the individual but rather, due to its level of intensity, is a mental disorder that should be diagnosed and treated.