Health Advice



Dealing with an eating disorder? Lots of people are these days

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

We've all heard about how singer and songwriter Elton John struggled with bulimia for 16 years. He got treatment in 1990. And "Good Morning America" personality Ginger Zee contended with anorexia as a child from age 10 to 14, following her parents' divorce. "It was a horrendous spiral that could have taken my life," Zee revealed.

There's no age or group that escapes the risk for eating disorders. In fact, almost 28 million of you will contend with an eating disorder in your lifetime. And the pandemic seems to have increased the prevalence of the problem substantially. The National Eating Disorders Association has seen their helpline calls increase 70% to 80% during some time periods recently. In a survey of people diagnosed with anorexia, published in July 2020, participants said their symptoms were getting worse. Binge eaters have also reported that they've increased binging by 30%.

If you feel like you are binge eating -- that's eating without control for quantity or quality -- or are experiencing bulimia (you binge eat then purge by vomiting, excessive use of laxatives, or diuretics, fasting and/or excessive exercise), or you're persistently reducing your food intake and obsessed with avoiding weight gain (signs of anorexia), you should get help pronto. The long-term physical and emotional repercussions are serious.

So, whether you're sliding into disordered eating or it's an ongoing issue, call the Eating Disorders Helpline at 888-375-7767. They can help you join a support group, find a recovery mentor and get medical care.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of "What to Eat When" and its companion cookbook.

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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