The #4 mental health problem? Eating disorders. Millions of college students develop eating disorders during their college years, and males are nearly as likely to develop a disorder as women. Eating disorders involve extreme behaviors that revolve around food and weight issues. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) has provided statistics related to eating disorders; the numbers of which do not accurately reflect males with eating disorders as they often fail to seek treatment (bulimia and anorexia being seen as women’s issues):
- People ages 12-25 represent 95% of those with eating disorders
- Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness in adolescents
- 91% of college women attempt to control their weight through dieting
- 25% of college women binge and purge to manage their weight
- Do you refuse to eat food or skip meals?
- Do you fear eating in public with others?
- Do you count calories out of a need for control?
- Do you have strict eating habits that you feel guilty and ashamed for breaking?
- Do you have a history of perfectionism?
- Are you obsessed or dissatisfied with your weight or body shape?
- Do you eat large amounts of food and then purging or make yourself vomit?
- Have you avoided eating for a day then overate when you became too hungry?
- Have you seen excessive hair growth on arms and face or loss of your menstrual cycle?
If you answered yes to any of these questions or believe you have an eating disorder, seek immediate treatment―eating disorders can become life-threatening. The following are some of the resources dedicated to the prevention and/or alleviation of eating disorders.