Anorexia & obesity : how are they connected?

Anorexia and obesity are two significant conditions that aren’t talked about enough. These two conditions are very important and sometimes critical to the individual. They are both very different yet very similar.  Anorexia and obesity are part of a range of weight-related eating disorders.

A common theme for people with eating disorders and people who are obese is binge eating. We may binge or overeat for emotional reasons, including stress, depression, and anxiety.

It is also known that many adolescent girls can suffer multiple disorders or may progress from one disorder to another at varying degrees. It is paramount to understand this range of weight-related problems to avoid one disorder, such as bulimia turning into obesity while trying to prevent another.

Anorexia is when someone tries to keep their weight as low as possible by not exercising too much or not eating enough food or in some cases both. The symptoms of this disorder could include having rigorous habits around eating food, avoiding socialising when you know food is involved, exercising too much, deliberately making yourself sick for example. You may also start to see physical changes that include periods stopping (in women who have not reached menopause) or not starting (in younger women and girls). Also bloating, constipation and abdominal pain. 

Obese is a word used for people who are extremely overweight and that have a high percentage of body fat. Many risks come with obesity, some of these include coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer such as breast and bowel cancer. The cause of obesity is consuming too many fatty and sugary foods. Nowadays many people spend too much time sitting on the sofa, in cars, at desks and not enough time moving around. 

These two conditions are critical to understanding fully. If you are suffering from any of the above or you feel like you need to talk to someone, please do. It is better to address the issue before it's too late. You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from the eating disorders charity Beat by calling their adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.

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