An eating disorder is a medical illness caused by a disturbance in eating or exercising habits or body image that negatively affects a person's overall health. Eating disorders are often characterized by severely limiting food intake or excessive overeating. Sometimes exercise, vomiting, laxatives, or diuretics are used to eliminate food and calories from the body after an individual has eaten, or binged. A
Approaching an individual with a personal health-related issue is a process often involving many elements including engaging in dialogue, educating yourself and your friend, and exploring resources, with the eventual goal of them seeking additional help from a health care professional.