Seizures: More and more children and adults suffer from eating disorders

Health insurance IKK Südwest notes an increase in eating disorders
Pathological eating behavior in the form of anorexia, eating-vomiting addiction or disproportionate eating seizures has to be treated much more often by doctors than six years ago, the number of cases has increased enormously. The IKK Südwest records alarming increases, particularly in the cases of bulimia and binge eating disorder - both in children and in adults. The IKK nutrition expert says: "The massive increase worries us". She speaks of an actual addiction, which must also be treated as such.

More and more people need medical attention because of eating disorders. The IKK Südwest determines this for its distribution area in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The total number of eating disorders has increased by 15% since 2010. The major contributors to this are the diseases anorexia (anorexia), bulimia (eating and vomiting addiction) and binge eating disorder (eating attacks). You can find more detailed descriptions of the various clinical pictures here.

The increase in children is alarming, as the IKK Südwest has shown a clear increase in the diagnoses bulimia (+ 33%) and binge eating disorder (+ 13%). Saarland children are affected by bulimia two and a half times as often as six years ago, which corresponds to an increase of 138% (2010: 13 cases, 2016: 31 cases). In Hesse the increase was 81% (2010: 12, 2016: 19), in Rhineland-Palatinate the number of cases remained almost constant (2010: 42, 2016 43). In almost all cases, they are young girls who are on average 15 years old.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, regular eating bouts are apparently on the rise among children: Here, the number of binge eating cases has increased threefold (+ 188%) since 2010 (2010: 9, 2016: 26), while the numbers in Hesse (-33%; 2010: 9, 2016: 6) and in Saarland (-87%; 2010: 8, 2016: 1) have decreased significantly.

Overall, the feeding attacks in adulthood also increased significantly. Almost 50% more cases are registered here than six years ago. This is particularly evident in Rhineland-Palatinate, where the increase is 82% (2010: 194, 2016: 354). In Saarland it is 59% (2010: 39, 2016: 62), in Hesse even minus 25% (2010: 113, 2016: 84). A good three quarters of all plagued by food attacks are women in their early 40s. But the morbid waiver of food also shows a worrying increase: Overall, 22% more insured suffer from anorexia than in 2010, the change in Saarland (+ 50%) and in Hesse (+ 35%), while in Rhineland-Palatinate the number of cases remains constant (481 cases in 2016).

"We are concerned about the massive increase in diseases in children and adults," says Marie-Louise Conen, Health Officer at IKK Südwest, "but there is still a great need for research in this area. The causes are certainly stress, but also the oversupply of cheap addictive substances such as ready-made food and foods that contain a lot of sugar as well as the influence of the media on body image.

She further points out that the diseases examined are actually addictive behaviors that should also be treated as follows: "One should not be confused with greed or desire." Those affected were often stigmatized and had little chance of social support, complained the IKK expert. For a few years now, experts have been discussing the connection between “eating and addiction” (and also “not eating and addiction”).

This also means that there must be a certain predisposition to addiction: “Obesity due to“ binge eating ”has nothing to do with normal obesity due to lack of exercise, incorrect eating and stress. But one should also not assume that every 14-year-old who goes on a diet will immediately become anorexic. "The essentials are careful handling and a watchful eye:" People who suffer from this disease need medical attention and therapeutic care. "

Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder that causes periodic food cravings with loss of conscious control over eating behavior. In contrast to bulimia, no countermeasures are taken afterwards, so that in the long term overweight is usually the result. Since 2013, the binge eating disorder has been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a separate clinical picture and from 2018 it should also appear in the ICD (International Classification of Diseases).

bulimia- Derived from the Greek "bous" (ox) and "limos" (hunger), bulimia literally means ox hunger, colloquially one speaks of eating-vomiting addiction. Bulimia was considered a variant of anorexia for a long time until it was recognized as an independent disease by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. It is estimated that there are around 600,000 bulimia patients in Germany, most of whom are between 15 and 35 years old and female. Stewardesses, models and ballet dancers seem to be particularly often affected.

Anorexia nervosa - The Greek origin of the German term anorexia - means something like "nervous lack of desire". This term is misleading because the desire, the physical and mental hunger, is particularly great in anorexia. So big that anorexia sufferers fend off and deny it at almost any cost. Anorexics have therefore taken a different path in dealing with their unfulfilled desire than bulimics or obese people. (Source: The Johanniter, sb)

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Video: How an eating disorder develops: Madi ODells story (January 2022).