Eating Disorders

Q: What is anorexia?

A: Anorexia is a serious disorder that causes people to eat far too little and lose a dangerous amount of weight. People who suffer from anorexia are often intensely afraid of weight gain, are obsessed with their weight, and suffer from self-esteem that is overly dependent on their body image. Anorexia is self-starvation. If left untreated, anorexia can cause severe health problems and even lead to death.[1]


Q: What is bulimia?

A: Bulimia (or binge eating disorder) is a serious health condition that causes people to eat extreme amounts of food, usually followed by an episode of purging (such as vomiting or laxative use) in order to prevent weight gain.[2]


Q: What causes eating disorders?

A: Eating disorders can be caused by trauma, relationship difficulties, or physical illnesses. They can also be triggered by a life change such as entering high school, getting married, or having children. Eating disorders often develop alongside other mental health problems, such as depression or obsessive compulsive disorders.[3]


Q: Can both men and women get eating disorders?

A: Yes, though they are much more common in women. About ninety percent of eating disorder patients are women. [4]


Q: Can an eating disorder be life threatening?

A: Yes. Binge eating and bulimia can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and gallbladder disease. Anorexia can cause abnormally slow heart rate and dangerously low blood pressure. It can also cause severe dehydration and kidney failure. All these conditions are extremely serious and can be fatal.[5]


Q: Can eating disorders occur alongside other addictions?

A: Yes, they often do. People who suffer from anorexia or bulimia are more likely to suffer from alcohol and substance abuse, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder than others.[6]


Q: I think I have an eating disorder. Do I?

A: If you think you may have an eating disorder, consider taking a screening at NEDA’s website at


Q: Where can I get help?

A: Call NEDA’s help line at 1-800-931-2237 or look online at These tools can help you find a counselor in your area who can help you recover from your eating disorder.


Q: How are eating disorders treated?

A: Eating disorders are usually treated with counseling, psychotherapy, or medications (such as antidepressants for co-occurring depression or anxiety). The goal of treatment is to bring a patient’s weight to a healthy level, reduce his or her rates of exercise, and curtailing binging and purging patterns.[7]

[1] Author’s Name Not Available, “Anorexia Nervoxa," NEDA, (Accessed 14 February 2015).

[2] Author’s Name Not Available, “Bulimia,” NEDA, (Accessed 14 February 2015).

[3] Author’s Name Not Available, “Factors Contributing to Eating Disorders,” NEDA.​. (Accessed 14 February 2015).

[4] Author’s Name Not Available, “Males and Eating Disorders,” NEDA. (Accessed 14 February 2015).

[5] Author’s Name Not Available, Health Consequences of Eating Disorders,” NEDA. (Accessed 14 February 2015).

[6] Author’s Name Not Available, “Factors Contributing to Eating Disorders,” NEDA.​. (Accessed 14 February 2015).

[7] Author’s Name Not Available, “Treatment,” NEDA.​. (Accessed 14 February 2015).

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.


1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature… for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."


Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!


Psalm 139:14 I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, and that my soul knows very well.


John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly.


1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.


1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.


Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.


Colossians 2:20-23 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.