Clinical eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder as well as subclinical issues including anorexia athletica involve severely unhealthy emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding body weight and caloric intake. Eating disorders are serious psycho-emotional-physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for both sexes, but the prevalence of these issues is much higher among females. These disorders can create many health problems due to reduced energy availability and micronutrient deficiencies. For highly active female clients in particular, inadequate intake of calcium, iron, and select B vitamins can become serious concerns. Eating disorders have explicit negative effects on a client’s psychological mood state, overall growth and maturation, reproductive functions and bone health. There is also a correlation between eating disorders and an increased risk for mortality (anorexia nervosa range is reported at 1-8% due to cardiac arrest or suicide).
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