Concomitant to the increased prevalence of obesity in the United States, there is agreement within the health care industry that the incidence of eating disorders has also increased over the past 3 to 4 decades. However, the exact prevalence is difficult to determine. Physicians are not required to report eating disorders to any health agency, and there is a great degree of secrecy and denial on the part of patients suffering from these medical conditions. Eating disorders are marked by severe disturbances in eating behavior. Women and girls are much more likely than are men and boys to develop an eating disorder. Such disorders may manifest through preoccupations with food and weight but are most often about much more than just food. These disorders ...

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