Ask Dr. SHAC – Eating Disorders

Hey Dr. SHAC,
So, after Winter break my friend came back in the best shape of his life. He lost a ton of weight from this diet he started over break. When I asked him what he did, he told me it was simple; all he did was cut out a couple meals a day. I understand this is bad, but the meals he does eat are so large. It’s like he can eat whatever he wants, never go to the gym, and still lose all this weight. I am little skeptical, but the results don’t lie. Is there a safe way of incorporating a diet like this?
Sincerely,
Tired and Hungry

Hey Tired and Hungry,
I’m not quite sure, but it sounds to me like your friend could possibly have an eating disorder. I think this possibility is often overlooked in males, who regard these disorders as women’s diseases, but an estimated 10-15 percent of people with an eating disorder are male. If this is the case, the first thing your friend should understand is he is not alone. Millions of people around the country (approximately 11 million) suffer from eating disorders, and he should not be ashamed or guilty for having one. If he is unsure he has one or just wants to know more about healthy eating practices, Counseling Services is very knowledgeable about the subject. There is also a nutritionist who comes to campus every so often and has a wealth of knowledge. Anyone can call Appel to schedule a meeting.

As for you my friend, you should probably not follow any diet requiring you not to eat. Although the results seem promising, there could potentially be a variety of side effects happening that are not visible initially. Eating disorders can cause loss of teeth, frequent constipation, gastric ruptures (which have an 80 percent fatality rate), and hair loss, among other things. Eating disorders also increase the chance of acquiring many diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer.

Hope this helps, and remember – SHAC’s got your back!

Feel free to submit comments and questions for Dr. SHAC to answer!
Email submissions to nekpa@fandm.edu.

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