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Eating disorders

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Eating disorders have complex causes, and may vary greatly from person to person. Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of their age or sex, and may range from binge eating to compulsive exercise and calorie restriction.

What are the risks?

Eating very few calories, purging, or using other means to control diet is never a safe way to lose weight. The health risks are serious, including poor nutrition, organ failure, and bone weakness. Many people with one type of eating disorder will develop another, making these dangerous problems even worse.

Where can I find help?

Professional help is usually required to overcome an eating disorder. If you or a family member is showing signs of an eating disorder, get help as soon as possible. Learn about mental health services at Kaiser Permanente.

Learn more about each eating disorder's symptoms and risks, and find resources to get help:

Reviewed by: Keith Bachman, MD and Trina Histon, PhD, August 2013
Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

©2013 Kaiser Permanente