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There are several types of eating disorders; each varies on the causes and effects, but all are synonymous in giving a negative effect to an individual's overall health. Eating disorder characterized as a series of abnormal eating, involving excessive or insufficient food intake that affects an individual's physical, emotional and psychological well- being. In the United States alone, large amounts of the population are affected with these three major types of eating disorder namely: Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. These are the most common eating disorder affecting both males and females in the country. An estimated five to 10 million of females are affected and nearly 1 million of males are suffering in the country alone. Studies also proved that the risk for developing an eating problem is greatly higher in the Western part of the world, as compared to those in the other regions. Individuals suffering from an eating disorder are normally in denial or not even aware of it. The problem normally revolves around self-image and on how an individual perceive a problem. Identifying the types of eating disorder can help in better understanding the steps needed to resolve it. Bulimia nervosa: Characterized as the most common type of eating disorder, bulimics engage themselves in constant eating or purging with food in private, then resort to an inhumane way of getting rid of it through vomiting, taking laxatives or excessive exercise. The feeling of guilt comes into play after gorging with a small or large amount of food. Bulimics like all the other individuals with eating disorder are very secretive. They keep their disease in private because of embarrassment and low self-esteem. Individuals who engage in frequent dieting and show extreme concern with body weight and shape are also in great risk for this type of disorder. Bulimia nervosa deals with self-image therefore making it harder to overcome. Proper treatment should be encouraged and strong environmental support is necessary to overcome this illness. Anorexia nervosa: Characterized as a psychological disorder, Anorexia nervosa deals with individuals with an extreme concern about excessive weight or obesity and engages them in extreme dieting. The fear of gaining weight drives anorexics to eat less amount of food or drives them to the point of starvation and engages in extreme exercises to lose weight. As an effect, most anorexic suffers from severe health conditions and psychological problems, more likely similar to addiction. Studies suggest that causes of anorexia nervosa showed a genetic link. The part of the brain, hypothalamus in particular, plays a big role in developing anorexia nervosa. While other studies focus on the history of under eating in the early age. Individuals, who surrounded with an environment that defines "thinness" as beautiful, are those that are high risk of developing anorexia nervosa. Binge eating disorder: Unlike any other types of eating issue, Binge eating disorder (BED)

develops the greater chances of obesity or weight gain. An individual who over-eats constantly engage himself to bingeing in a short period even after a meal or feeling full. They eat voraciously until they feel the need to stop. The feeling of guilt and embarrassment will take place and will then put them in the state of depression. Depression and binge eating disorder goes hand and hand. Most individuals who develop binge eating disorder are those that are emotionally unhappy and those that are keeping negative feelings inside. Females mostly adolescents, are the common victims of binge eating than males. Former studies proved that this is because female's struggles with pressures all at the same time, therefore making it hard for them move on and recover. As compared to males who find it easy to accept situations and move on. All types of eating disorder bring negative effects to an individual's life. It is important to accept the situation and seek professional help to fight eating issues they you may have. Always remember that acceptance of the problem is the first step to recovery.

Kristin Gerstley is a former binge eater that now has a very healthy relationship with food. Since 2005, Kristin has helped thousands of people end binge eating Ă‚ through her website: You can also get free tips, information, and access Kristin's End Binge Eating Journal by joining her free newsletter.

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