The term eating disorders is used to describe illnesses that are characterised by irregular eating habits and severe anxiety about body weight and/or shape. Eating disorders can affect anybody at any age. Beating Eating Disorders indicates that around 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder. Common misconceptions include the view that it is mainly women who are affected, but men can also be affected by issues such as low self-esteem, body image and an obsessive relationship with food.
There is no single cause of eating disorders. However, medical evidence suggests that there is often a link between a stressful event or trauma and the onset of an eating problem.
Unlike any other kind of addiction we cannot abstain from food as it is essential to life and something we have to deal with on a daily basis making it a difficult issue to tackle.