Binge-eating disorder, designated in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association as a diagnosis in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V, is associated with substantial lifelong impairments comparable to those of bulimia nervosa, according to a recent World Health Organization study based on community epidemiological surveys conducted in 12 nations worldwide.
The study found that binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa both typically arose during adolescence and were associated with a range of later-onset mental disorders (including depression and anxiety disorders) and physical disorders (such as musculoskeletal disorders and diabetes). Both disorders are generally undetected by medical professionals and therefore left untreated. This finding, the researchers said, raises the possibility that expanded efforts at early detection and treatment of eating disorders during the vulnerable school years might help prevent the onset of subsequent mental and physical disorders and impairments associated with these disorders.[i]
"It's estimated that 40 percent of children under the age of twelve are dieting. Ninety-one percent of college aged women surveyed diet, and 22 percent of them dieted often or always,"[ii] says Kimberly Davidson, author of I'm Beautiful? Why Can't I See It? "It has been documented that excessive dieting can lead to an eating disorder. Teens are particularly vulnerable and need help navigating mass media. The key is education in media literacy.We can't solely blame model images in fashion magazines. Trauma often plays a major role in enabling eating disorders. Our emotions can trigger a binge," Ms. Davidson added.
Eating disorders remain a private battle for millions of people of all ages. "From a pastoral counselor's perspective" continued Ms. Davidson, "I've seen countless adults, including myself, released from the bondage of an eating disorder when they add spirituality to their healthcare plan. I believe those struggling with unhealthy patterns of eating and body image issues will find the new second edition of'I'm Beautiful? Why Can't I See It?' an important resource." After seventeen years of chronic bingeing and purging, Davidson stopped her eating disorder abruptly. She attributes her spirituality to defeating her battle with bulimia and negative body image. She offers a specific 12 week plan, and brings a clear message of hope and restoration. The book is a spiritual and psychological guide to help women break free from food addictions and emotional eating through biblical counseling action steps, Scripture, and other's personal experiences.