In the U.S., nearly ten million people are affected by an eating disorder. Marcie Fraser explains why the disorder is now affecting younger kids and men.
Lynn Grefe, Chief Executive Officer at the National Eating Disorders Association, says that lives can be saved if people have the courage openly talk about eating disorders.
"There is no shame in having an eating disorder. These are biologically based illnesses. It's no one’s fault. It's not your fault. It's not your mothers fault. It's not your aunt’s fault. These are illnesses and they are treatable illnesses," said Grefe.
The disorder can affect anyone at any age.
"Eating disorders just don't only affect females, not just young females. There was a 37% rise in hospitalizations among males in a five year period," said Grefe.
Experts say it’s important to keep an eye on your child’s eating habits. If you do see signs, talk about it with your child and look for a counselor that specializes in eating disorders. The experts say the disorder rarely travels alone; it is usually accompanied by depression and/or anxiety.
"Eating disorders start with a diet and among certain populations that diet goes out of control and the risk to a persons’ health is enormous," said Grefe.
An eating disorder is not about the food, but underlying emotional issues.