Eating Disorders and Weight Management
People with eating disorders have problems with their eating behavior, thoughts, and emotions. They may use food as a coping mechanism for negative emotions. They may attempt to control their weight by controlling their food intake. Eating disorders are a real illness, not a choice. Eating disorders can be treated.
Treatment plans for eating disorders include addressing emotional health, physical health, eating behaviors, and nutritional management. Therapy can help address the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that contribute to eating disorders. Nutritional management, nutritional counseling, and healthy exercise are important for a healthy body and healthy eating patterns.
Weight management means keeping your body weight at a healthy level and participating in a plan to attain and maintain your goals. People who are overweight should eat a balanced diet and get regular exercise. People who are underweight should eat a well balance diet designed to achieve an ideal weight and prevent losing weight once it has been gained. Exercise is important for people that are underweight, but their exercise recommendations are different than those for people that are overweight.
People can become overweight if they consume more calories from food and drinks than they burn off through exercise and activity. A calorie is a unit of measure for energy. Your body needs a baseline daily amount of calories to use for energy. However, when people eat too much or make unhealthy food choices, they can consume more many calories than their bodies need. If they fail to get enough activity to burn off the extra calories, the excess calories add up to extra pounds.
People that binge eat or compulsively overeat are at risk for severe health concerns. If untreated, overweight or obese individuals are at risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, bone conditions, and depression. The cumulative consequences of overeating can lead to death.
Early diagnosis and treatment is associated with the best results. A psychiatrist can diagnose an eating disorder and any co-existing condition, such as depression or anxiety. A complete medical examination may be necessary to evaluate the overall health of an individual.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.