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Why Aren't Eating Disorders Recognised Earlier?

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I want to touch on a rather sensitive subject of eating disorders. I've talked about it before on my blog but I'd love to get the views of The Huffington Post readers.

Those suffering with eating disorders often do it alone or in secrecy. Not all of them want to to get out of the bad habits. There are whole 'pro-ana' and 'pro-mia' communities that support one another through their EDs.

Following the Thinspo tag on Tumblr I've learned a lot about eating disorders. I look at pictures of skinny, fit women for inspiration. It really helps me to see what I could one day achieve. However, seeing your entire ribcage is not sexy but that's a post for another day.

People only start getting worried about anorexic (or bulimic) tendencies when someone starts getting to a healthy weight. Yet there are girls out there who are overweight and starving themselves to get thin. But, because they are losing weight, it's okay. A healthy weight is a good thing so do whatever the hell you can to get there!

You can be 200lbs and have an eating disorder. Even if an ED does help you to lose weight it's not healthy. Surely these illnesses can be prevented from getting so bad that someone dies if they are caught earlier.

Does anyone notice it for the poor chubby girls on Tumblr who are literally doing anything they can to get thin?

This is a topic that frustrates me no end. Fat people can have bulimia or anorexia but more often than not no one notices because they are beginning to look better and society dictates that is a good thing. 80lbs later they could be in an unbreakable cycle they see as a habit that has earned them praise on losing weight and looking better. They'll want to continue that and probably won't know when to stop.

Doctors also tend to define non-specific eating disorders. EDNOS means eating disorder not otherwise specified. This means that if you have all the tendencies of an anorexic woman but you period hasn't stopped due to low weight then you don't have anorexia. If you binge/purge once a week you don't have bulimia because the text books say it's got to be at least twice a week. You'd get dumped into this other eating disorder category that doesn't seem to get the attention it needs.

Eating disorders and bad habits associated with them are noticeable before a person gets to a dangerously low weight. Surely they'd be better tackled early on to reteach good eating habits before people start losing their hair and teeth or can't move they are so weak with malnutrition?