63 InnovativeHealthMag.com addictions and consequent legal issues. Sadly, we all have family, friends and co-workers who combat their demons with alcohol, drugs, gambling and a host of self-destructive behaviors. An entire industry has mushroomed to treat sufferers of these addic-tions. One more opinion about methodology and success rate won’t be useful. Rather, let’s focus on the insidious devil hiding in plain sight, the addiction that gets no respect: life-shortening eating practices. The literature is filled with tomes on anorexia and bulimia, which affect a disturbing 13% of Americans (3). Both are devastating disorders, and rehabilitation centers have sprung up around the country to deal with them. ‘‘ But it’s the far greater, underserved segment of the population that worries me – the two-thirds of us who are killing ourselves through nightly binges and daytime grazing, one slab/slice/sliver, one box/ bag/fistful at a time. I’m talking about compulsive eating behavior. This affliction was ignored entirely and went undiagnosed officially until two years ago with the latest revised edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(4). Finally, the publishers, the American Psychiatric Association, included compulsive eating behaviors under the category of Binge Eating Disorder. I maintain that B.E.D. still is not taken seriously by the public because, unlike other substance abuse disorders, binge eating is not judged to be illegal or immoral, even though such eating practices are most surely physically harmful and ultimately fatal. This lack of respect for the subtly deadly addiction flies in the face of the avalanche of evidence to the contrary, showing a nation of overweight, out of shape children and adults. The National Institute of Health notes in its literature that: 1 More than two in three adults are considered to be overweight (Body Mass Index BMI of 25 to 29.9 – percentage of body fat). 2 More than one in three adults is considered to be obese (BMI of 30+). 3 More than one in 20 adults is considered to have extreme obesity (BMI of 40+). ‘‘ let’s focus on the insidious devil hiding in plain sight, the addiction that gets no respect: life-shortening eating practices.
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