Does Dieting Cause Eating Disorders?

The statistics are staggering - 8 million people have an eating disorder! Seven out of eight of these people are female. Of this group an astonishing 95% are between the ages of 12 and 25. Half the girls between 11 and 13 think they are overweight, and 80% of all 13-year-olds have tried to lose weight! (

The complexity of this issue in the mental health field continues to challenge the most capable of therapists. These extremes are based on the perception of body weight, whether based in reality or not. Along with counseling, these millions of people are being helped with proper advice on a nutritional diet.

The purpose of a nutritional diet is not deprivation. It is not about what you cannot eat, it is more about what you should eat and in what portions. There are always guides about the types of foods to avoid, but this advice is to assist you with choices, not deprive you of your favorites. If you wish to lose weight, a balanced nutritional lifestyle will accomplish this goal. Seek the guidance of your doctor, dietician or nutritionist if you have trouble navigating the masses of information available these days. Finding the right combination of food choices and portions for your particular body will save you frustration in trying programs that do not fit.

One thing that will not work for a diet regimen is binging and purging. This can be a life-threatening behavior. For example, 20% of those suffering from anorexia will die prematurely, and the mortality rate is 12 times higher for this group than for others of the same demographic ( A diet based weight loss program requires the correct information and consistency. You must make healthy eating a lifestyle choice, and not be tempted by the ups and downs of quick and easy plans. It requires effort over long periods of time, or the weight will come back.

Weight gain does not happen overnight, and neither will weight loss. If this is a goal you have set for yourself, consult your doctor, talk with friends and family, join a fitness center and consult with the professional there. Remember that balance and consistency are the keys to a healthy diet. These tempered with a little patience and you are sure to meet your goals. Avoid at all costs the extremes and dangers of eating disorders. If you do find yourself on that course, please seek professional help. The world is a better place with you in it!

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