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Is Obesity an Eating Disorder?

is obesity an eating disorder

Most people pack on a few pounds as they get older, and a lot of that has to do with when your metabolism peaks. For men it revs as high as it is ever going to when they’re around 25, and for women it tends to be a few years earlier. A slower metabolism doesn’t mean you’ll gain weight, but it does increase the likelihood of it, especially if you’re inactive and continue to eat the less-than-ideal diet you got used to in College. Eating better is a choice, but for person who has an eating disorder then eating badly or unhealthily may be something they don’t have control over. But is obesity an eating disorder?

Binge eating can be a primary contributing factor to people becoming obese, and binge eating is an eating disorder. Undereating can be anorexia or bulimia, and they’re eating disorders too but no one is going to become obese from undereating. The truth about obesity and eating disorders is that some people may have become obese because of having an eating disorder. But they usually have glandular or other types of issues that made it likely they were going to be prone to gaining more weight even if they didn’t have the disorder.

This is not to make any less of how people genuinely struggle to lose weight when obese and how much it negatively impacts their lives. But is obesity an eating disorder? No, it’s not. It may be the symptom of an eating disorder but it’s not the disorder itself. Losing the amount of weight needed for a person who is obese requires the widest spectrum approach possible, and keep in mind that eating disorders are often very closely tied into mental health disorders.

Food addiction is a part of this is obesity an eating disorder conversation too, and many times when people can’t control the number of certain types of foods they eat it’s because the food is triggering the brain to release endorphins and these neuro chemicals make you ‘feel good’ the exact way they’re supposed to.

Family Ties

An aspect of is obesity an eating disorder that doesn’t get talked about as often is how there is often social inequality tied into it too. Many times people who become obese have parents and other preceding generations of family members who have struggled with their weight. Not that all of them would have been obese, but the general trends of eating poorly and having a very sedentary lifestyle are paired with their genetics. Plus there’s the role of being born into generational poverty for a lot of people – their parents and the parents before them haven’t had the means of feeding children properly and giving them good eating habits.

So obviously there’s a lot of mental health help and positive reinforcement that is required to get people on the right path towards a healthy body weight. Using medications like Xenical or Saxenda can work to take on the physiological ends of why people feel compelled to eat and don’t feel satisfied with eating a normal portion or eating less frequently. The reason that obese people need to make gradual weight loss a priority is because of the immense strain put on their heart by having so much body mass. Nothing to do with is obesity an eating disorder, but obesity can also cause arthritis, lung disease, gallbladder disease and it also can lead to accelerated cartilage degeneration of the person’s knees.

That’s because of all the weight coming down on them. So while the reality of obesity and eating disorders is that one may be the cause of the other, there can be people who are obese but wouldn’t qualify as someone who has an eating disorder. But for the majority of people with a weight that makes them obese they will have some type of eating disorder that is combining with inactivity and genetic propensity to make them reach the weight they have.

Sleep Well for Slimmer

A good night’s sleep is good for everyone in so many ways, but it may also be something to consider when weigh is obesity an eating disorder too. We’ve determined that it is not, but what does sleep have to do with whether or not a person becomes grossly overweight? It turns out that there may be something of a vicious circle at work here. Getting insufficient sleep can turn on the genes that promote weight gain, and then once a person becomes very overweight or obese then their weight can alter their metabolism and sleep / wake cycle.

This is a factor that is more relevant when people aren’t obese yet, but at risk of it. If you have someone you’re concerned about that way then you may want to talk to them and share ways to sleep better consistently.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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