February 1, 2013

Do I have an eating disorder?

Image: tofu-2011 project

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak at a local high school with a panel of specialists on eating disorders. I was impressed with the large crowd of students who voluntarily showed up on their lunch break to hear about eating disorders. This was clearly a topic that these high school students cared about. I guess it is not surprising considering that some estimates show nearly 11% of high school students have been diagnosed with an eating disorder (www.anad.org).

During the question and answer portion of the presentation, several students asked how they can know if they have an eating disorder. I think it is pretty safe to assume that nearly everyone in the room struggles with their weight and body image, and may have tried dieting to control those factors, but how can they know if they have a full-blown, this-feels-out-of-control, I-need-to-get-help type of eating disorder?

There is a great assessment you can take online to quickly help you determine if you might be at risk of an eating disorder. It is kind of like one of those Cosmo quizzes, "Is He the One???," only it will help you figure out if you have a diagnosable eating disorder.

If you think there is any chance you might have an eating disorder, take the assessment, and then contact an eating disorder specialist. You can find a list of specialists on the Houston Eating Disorder Specialist website. The sooner you get help, the more likely it is that you can beat the disorder.

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