Focus on Family: Under-recognized warning signs about eating disorders

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Julie Friedman, PhD, Executive Director - Binge Eating Treatment and Recovery

Eating Recovery Center

Hotline provided on Eating Recovery Day to address questions or concerns from those who may potentially have an eating disorder, or provide their loved ones with help and guidance.

The number is (877) 411-9552.

Line will be open from 9-5pm CST - today, May 2nd.

Eating Disorder Warning Signs

Warning signs include those that are psychological and emotional, not just physical.

Sudden, dramatic weight loss or constant weight fluctuation

Constantly feeling cold – even in warm weather

Negative self-talk, especially about one’s body

Changes in mood and desire to interact with others socially

Compulsive or excessive exercising

Frequently engaging in conversation about food

Avoiding certain foods that were once loved

Unusual behaviors at meal times – practicing food rituals or avoiding meals altogether

Using the bathroom right after a meal, or other signs of physical signs purging (swollen cheeks, marks/scars on knuckles – a.k.a. “Russell’s sign”)

Evidence of hoarding food, empty food wrappers or containers, or the disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, nearly one person in the U.S. dying every hour.