Key facts about eating disorders

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Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.

Families are not to blame, and can be strong allies in treatment.

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An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.

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Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.

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Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.

Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.

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Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

Produced in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Leading associations in the field of eating disorders also contributed their valuable input.