“You can tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them,” “eating disorders are caused by a diet gone too far,” and “only young women are affected” are some of the popular misconceptions associated with eating disorders.
Studies show that despite growing awareness and education about eating disorders, many people still continue to view myths such as these as factual. This is dangerous as misinformation can result in the denial of symptoms and the validation of harmful behaviors.
In an effort to stop the spread of harmful information, we are providing the following myths and facts about eating disorders:
Myth –You can tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them.
Fact- Many individuals with eating disorders seem healthy in appearance. In several circumstances, weight loss or weight gain may not be obvious during the onset of eating disorders. It is also common for sufferers to learn how to hide symptoms of their illness by doing things such as wearing baggy clothing.
Myth- Eating disorders are lifestyle choices or result from diets taken too far.
Fact – Going on a diet is a choice and having an eating disorder is not. Eating disorders are life-threatening illnesses that are associated with psychological, social, or emotional distress.
Myth- Only adolescent women are affected by eating disorders.
Fact- Eating disorders do not discriminate by gender or age. In fact, it is estimated that 10 million men living in the United States have an eating disorder. More and more people are seeking treatment for these disorders in their twenties and up. There are three main groups of people that fit into this category:
- Those who secretly struggle with eating disorders for years without seeking treatment.
- Those who received treatment earlier in life and are experiencing recurring symptoms
- Those who have developed eating disorders as adults
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.