Adult eating disorders

On a more serious note …

I read this really interesting article in my monthly Women’s Health.

Although us women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s may feel that we have control over our bodies and  are very knowledgeable about nutrition, we can still be at risk for eating disorders.

The phrase ” eating disorder” drummed of thoughts of teenage girls and after-school specials I used to have to watch in high school that warned of the dangers of wanting a “perfect body”.

But there are a slew of other conditions that us adults need to watch out for. According to WH, the number of women falling victim to these disorders is steadily rising.

The good news is if we educate ourselves about these disorders we may be able to catch ourselves or a friend who is traveling down a destructive path.

Here are the most common adult eating disorders we face today.

Orthorexia: “A fixation with healthy or righteous eating”. WH describes this condition as someone who eats only organic foods, nixes entire food groups from their diets or will not eat anything that isn’t “pure”. This actually sounds like it may be healthy but in extreme cases it can lead to severe malnutrition. This complex is prompted by a woman’s ” fear of bad health, a fixation of complete control or the desire to improve their own self-esteem.”

My take: I feel there is a fine line between eating a very disciplined diet and having a problem. My best guess on how to steer clear of this problem would be listen to your body and track your calories to ensure you’re eating enough.

Pregorexia: “Extreme dieting and exercising while pregnant to avoid gaining the 25 to 35 pounds of weight doctors usually recommend”. This disease obviously harms mom and baby.

My take: Although I haven’t had a baby (yet) I feel like I may be at risk for this disorder. I always have sworn to myself I will stay active and not overeat when I get preggo.  Although I don’t see myself ignoring doctors orders and I also don’t see myself ignoring any extreme cravings.  So … I’ll probably be OK and I promise to run my workouts by my doctor first. Bring on the potato chips and chocolate ice cream in moderation, of course.

Anorexia athletica: “An addiction to exercise”. Well, that’s stated simply enough. This type of person works out so much it interferes with normal life.

My take: I definitely have no problem with this one. I work out six days a week (sometimes less) for a normal amount of time. Thirty minutes, maybe an hour, five to six days a week and you should be fine.

Drunkorexia: “Restricting food intake in order to reserve those calories for alcohol and binge drinking”.

My take: What the?  This exists?? Yes it does. I hate drinking on an empty stomach so I won’t have to worry about this one but it can cause all sorts of problems such as alcohol poisoning, uninhibited sexual behavior (who needs alcohol for that? I kid, I kid) and liver and kidney problems. To me this sounded more like a problem a college student may have but, looks like I’m wrong.

If you’re interested, read the whole article. It’s pretty well-written.

Happy healthy!


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