Health Matters: Eating disorders

Nearly 29 million Americans have or will face an eating disorder during their lifetime. This week’s Health Matters focuses on education and symptoms of these disorders.

University of Alabama Student Health Center Dietician Cherie Simpson said when she first learned about eating disorders when she was in college, there were only two.

“You were either on the restrictive side or you were overeating and then potentially compensating,” she said. “We call that binging and purging.”

Things are a lot different now, but the most common eating disorders are still anorexia and bulimia.

“Anorexia is the first one that you think about when you get this picture in your mind about eating disorders,” Simpson said. “Those patients tend to restrict, so they may limit themselves to a certain number of foods or a certain number of calories with the goal of losing weight.”

Bulimia nervosa is the second most common, Simpson said, and those afflicted often consume large amounts of food and then purge it.

“Purging is a little different than vomiting,” she said. “Purging is an intentional removal of that food, whether it’s through vomiting or taking medications like laxatives to remove it from the body.”

Check out the full interview below.

For all your primary health care needs, visit University Medical Center, with locations in Tuscaloosa, Northport, Demopolis, Fayette, Carrollton and Livingston.

Categories: Health Matters, Local News