According to one study, 20-percent of college-aged women and 1-percent of collegiate men suffer from an eating disorder. So just how healthy is your relationship with food? Although there are several different types of eating disorder, they all stem from the same basic issue - an unhealthy, unrealistic body image. Your body image is your perception of your appearance, regardless of what the mirror or other people have to say. If you are concerned that you, or a friend, may have an eating disorder, it can be helpful to know some of the common warning signs. For example, an obsession with food-eating way too much, eating scarcely anything, or constantly thinking about eating-is a sign that you may have a problem. Other warning signs include exercising to the point of illness, or using laxatives, diuretics or enemas to lose weight. If you have an eating disorder, you may become secretive about food, only eating in private or hiding what you've eaten. You may also find yourself talking excessively about your weight, exercising, and meals excessively. There also may be some physical signs that you have an eating disorder. As your body starves, you might notic...severe fatigue, constant feelings of coldness, a blueish tinge to your skin, a downy covering of hair on your body, thinning hair, and brittle nails. If you're female, you may also stop getting your period. If you notice any of these very serious symptoms, it's time to get help. Talk to a friend, a parent, or a doctor at your college's health center immediately.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012