Eating disorders can be physically, emotionally and mentally devastating for individuals and their loved ones. It takes time, a supportive team and considerable work to recover; however, it is possible. Nutrition Link Services’ registered dietitians can provide a crucial element of support to anyone who is affected. Our experienced professionals are committed to the pursuit of emotional, physical and nutrition wellness for those struggling with eating disorders.
Nutrition Services for Eating Disorders
Our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Help Children, Adolescents and Adults
Personalized Nutrition Plans Based on the Type of Eating Disorder and the Patient's Unique Needs
Since each patient and each eating disorder have specific treatment requirements, no single approach to nutrition intervention is appropriate for all individuals.
We work with each client and their providers to provide a customized treatment plan, and to facilitate a return to a healthy weight and a healthier relationship with food.
Because each patient and each eating disorder has specific treatment requirements, no one approach to nutrition intervention is appropriate for all individuals.
Our experienced professionals are committed to the pursuit of emotional, physical and nutrition wellness for those struggling with eating disorders.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are different types of eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, and a category of Otherwise Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED). Below is some general information about each type of disorder.
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa is a type of eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight, restricted eating and/or excessive exercise, and distorted body image. There is typically an unhealthy obsession with thinness, and individuals may go to extreme measures to maintain a low body weight. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) reports that 0.9% of women and 0.3% of men develop anorexia during their lifetime (1). Anorexia can have severe and life-threatening implications, as well as physiological implications, such as electrolyte imbalances, heart arrhythmias, hormonal imbalances, bone loss, organ dysfunction and depression, among many others. Recovery from anorexia nervosa takes time, but many clients can restore their health with appropriate treatment and support from a registered dietitian nutritionist.
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by the consumption of large quantities of food in one sitting, followed by compensatory behavior to purge that food – usually vomiting. This type of eating disorder can lead to severe electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body and heart arrhythmias, as well as increase the risk of esophagitis, erosion of dental enamel, among other adverse effects. However, with appropriate support and counseling, individuals can improve their health and achieve a healthier relationship with food.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
People with a binge-eating disorder feel a loss of control around food and eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge-eating are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder often gain weight. However, with appropriate nutrition counseling and the support of a dietitian, they can develop a heathier relationship with food and learn how to maintain a healthy weight.
What is Otherwise Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder?
Otherwise Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) was previously noted as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) and encompasses all cases of eating disorders that do not quite meet the diagnostic criteria for the other categories (3). Individuals with OSFED can have some, but not all, aspects of one of the other eating disorders, and can experience serious and life-threatening consequences. According to NEDA, historically, most individuals who were diagnosed with an eating disorder in community clinics fell into the EDNOS category. As with the other eating disorders, OSFED requires comprehensive nutrition counseling and a support team for successful treatment.
What is Orthorexia?
The term orthorexia was adopted in 1998 and it refers to an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Although it is not a term that is officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which is used to categorize the different eating disorders, awareness of the condition has increased tremendously (4). Although eating healthy foods is certainly good practice and a healthy habit, an unhealthy obsession with it can become very restrictive.
Some health consequences of orthorexia:
• A very limited diet, possibly increasing the risk of nutrient deficiencies
• Mental fatigue, from a constant preoccupation with food, calories and food labels
Symptoms of orthorexia:
• An unhealthy obsession with “clean” or healthy foods
• Compulsive checking of food labels, ingredients and health benefits
• A limited diet restricted to a few foods considered “clean” or healthy
• High levels of distress when clean or healthy foods are not available at social settings.
If you or a loved one are concerned about orthorexia, schedule an appointment with one of our registered dietitians to assess your intake and relationship with food. We can help you develop a healthier relationship and eliminate the stress and anxiety around food and eating.
Some Eating Disorder Statistics
According to data form the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an estimated 30 million individuals in the U.S. are reported to have struggled with an eating disorder in their life (1) Although eating disorders seem to affect women more than men, statistics indicate that many men are in fact affected by it. According to data from NEDA, at any point in time, approximately 0.3-0.4% of women and 0.1% of young men will suffer from anorexia nervosa (2).
Outpatient Eating Disorder Services
At Nutrition Link Services, we offer eating disorder clients both Individual and Group Nutrition Counseling options to best meet their needs and preferences. We also offer an online Self-Assessment Questionnaire, below, for individuals who would like to evaluate their own eating behavior and relationship with food.
If you or a loved one are seeking nutrition counseling for an eating disorder, diagnosed or suspected, we can help. Our registered dietitians can address your concerns, help you assess your own eating habits, and help you develop a healthier relationship with food.
Our Nutritionists Staff the Following New Jersey Locations:
Iselin (Middlesex County)
Princeton (Mercer County)
Berkeley Heights (Union County)
Hoboken (Hudson County)
Jersey City (Hudson County)
Paramus (Bergen County)
Redbank (Monmouth County)
Freehold (Monmouth County)
Brick (Ocean County)