Having an eating disorder means that you suffer from at least one of the several eating disorders known to mental health experts. Experts estimate that around 30 million Americans suffer from one or other type of eating disorder. People with eating disorders are obsessed with dieting, weight loss, and controlling what they eat. They may refuse to eat certain foods and even stop eating whole food categories such as dairy or animal proteins. They may refuse to eat out and are uncomfortable with food prepared by others.
People with eating disorders may skip meals or take extremely small amounts of food. They may manifest withdrawal symptoms as their unhealthy food habits drive them away from friends and social life. They are obsessed with dieting. Such people are very concerned with their body shape and size. They may experience extreme weight loss bordering on malnutrition. They have unhealthy food rituals, such as taking hours to source and prepare meals. Such people may experience gastrointestinal problems such as constipation. Some engage in binge eating and manifest feelings of disgust, guilt, or low self-esteem after overeating.