Despite high mortality rate, only one in five seek professional treatment 

Eating disorder does not have “a look” and it does not affect only a certain population. Anyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, age, and body type can experience an eating disorder. In fact, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, 28.8 million Americans will experience an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime. Only one in five people with an eating disorder will seek treatment from a provider who specializes in treating eating disorders.

With eating disorders having the second highest mortality rate of any mental illness, we must take action to prevent eating disorders and support those who may struggle. The first step is to reduce the stigma and educate people about what an eating disorder is. 

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a condition where people avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. They also may weigh themselves repeatedly. Even when dangerously underweight, they may see themselves as overweight.

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a condition where people have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. This binge-eating is followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight. 

Binge-eating disorder

Binge-eating disorder is a condition where people lose control over their eating and have reoccurring episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge-eating are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), previously known as selective eating disorder, is a condition where people limit the amount or type of food eaten. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with ARFID do not have a distorted body image or extreme fear of gaining weight. ARFID is most common in middle childhood and usually has an earlier onset than other eating disorders. Many children go through phases of picky eating, but a child with ARFID does not eat enough calories to grow and develop properly, and an adult with ARFID does not eat enough calories to maintain basic body function.

A lack of knowledge about eating disorders or that someone may be experiencing an eating disorder is just one of the many barriers to treatment. Additional barriers to care include: a lack of eating disorder specialists, lack of access to health insurance coverage. the cost of treatment, and the stigma and feeling shameful about eating habits.

ETHOS is here to help break down those barriers and provide quality care to those struggling with eating disorders. Our staff include therapists, registered dietitians, and psychiatric nurse practitioners who have years of experience treating individuals who are suffering from an eating disorder. We offer financing to alleviate the cost associated with treatment. We are committed to reducing the stigma and supporting the community. We welcome anyone who may want an assessment to reach out and discuss your needs. We are here to help.