Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Eating Disorders
For current food and physical activity recommendations, check out these links:
Nutrition and Exercise Factoids!
Did you know…
*Whole grains are much more nutritious than “enriched” or “refined” grains.
*Foods high in cholesterol actually don’t raise your blood cholesterol…but foods high in saturated fat do. This is usually a moot point because foods that are high in cholesterol are also usually high in saturated fat. However, eggs are high in cholesterol and low in saturated fat (yay!), while butter is low in cholesterol and high in saturated fat (boo!)
*Eggs are the ideal protein for humans because their amino acid profile closely matches what humans need.
*The 2-4 servings for dairy is actually a bit misleading. 2 servings applies to people who are not growing or pregnant; 3 servings applies to people who are growing or pregnant; and 4 servings applies to people who are growing and pregnant.
*Try to limit your intake of fruit juice . Most fruit juices are mostly sugar, and they don’t provide the fiber that you can obtain by eating raw fruit.
*Current physical activity recommendations advise getting 30 minutes of moderately-intense cardio 30 minutes per day for the average adult. To lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60-90 minutes of physical activity is advised.
*You can meet your daily exercise recommendations in smaller bouts of exercise (ie ten minutes three times a day or fifteen minutes twice a day).
To get an idea of a healthy weight range for your height, you can calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) by going here to type in your height and weight:
BMI, which stands for Body Mass Index, is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in square meters.
However, although BMI is a useful tool to approximate a healthy body weight, BMI does not take into account muscle mass or level of fitness of an individual.
Did you know…
-15% of women 17 to 24 have eating disorders
-40% of female college students have eating disorders
-91% of female college students have attempted to control their weight through dieting
What Is an Eating Disorder?
There are three main categories of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. Below you can find more information about each one of these:
Anorexia is characterized by several qualities:
-fear of becoming fat or of gaining weight
-refusal to maintain body weight above 85% of normal
-distorted body image
-loss of 3 or more consecutive periods (secondary amenorrhea) if periods have already begun
Anorexics may be the restricting type, in which weight loss is accomplished through dieting, fasting or excessive exercise, or a binge-eating or purging type, in which anorexics also binge-eat, purge, or use laxatives and diuretics in order to lose weight.
Anorexia is an illness that can have serious physical complications, including death, if untreated. Other physical complications include heart arrhythmias, bone loss and osteoporosis, anemia, amenorrhea, kidney problems, electrolyte imbalances, and gastrointestinal problems. It has one of the highest mortality rates of all mental disorders – 5-20% of those with anorexia will not survive.
90-95% of people with anorexia are girls and women. The average onset of anorexia is 17 years, but…
-Between 40-60% of high school girls diet
-30-40% of junior high girls are concerned about their weight
-40% of 9-year-old girls have dieted
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by several qualities:
-self-induced vomiting (purging)
-abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas to prevent weight gain
-a feeling of lack of control
-obsession with weight and self-appearance
-the binges and compensation both occur at least twice a week for 3 months on average
Bulimics may be of average or normal weight. Those who have bulimia may also have anorexia – the two are not mutually exclusive. There are two sub-types of bulimia: purging type, in which the compensatory behaviors include vomiting or laxative/diuretic/enema misuse, or non-purging type, in which the individual engages in other compensatory behaviors that do not include purging (such as excessive exercise or fasting).
1-2% of adolescent females have bulimia, but 4-10% of college-aged women meet the criteria. Bulimia may have serious physical complications if untreated, including erosion of tooth enamel, dental cavities, stomach ulcers, rupture of the stomach or esophagus, dehydration, disrupted bowel function, electrolyte imbalance, irregular heart rhythms, heart attack, and even death.
Binge-eating disorder is characterized by several qualities:
-bingeing without compensatory behavior (ie no excessive exercise, no use of laxatives/diuretics/enemas)
-distress and lack of control regarding binge eating
-binge eating occurs at least 2 days per week for 6 months (on average)
Three or more of the following are present:
-eating an unusually large amount of food in a short period of time
-eating quickly during binge episodes
-eating until feeling uncomfortably full
-eating alone because of embarrassment of large quantity of food consumed
-eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry
Medical consequences of binge-eating disorder include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure/cholesterol, kidney problems, bone deterioration, stroke, arthritis, menstrual problems, and upper respiratory problems.