Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa:
- Dramatic weight loss with no known medical illness.
- Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams and dieting.
- Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (i.e., no carbohydrates, etc.).
- Frequent comments about feeling "fat" or overweight despite weight loss.
- Denial of hunger.
- Development of food rituals (i.e., eating foods in certain orders, excessive chewing, rearranging food on a plate, etc.).
- Consistent avoidance of mealtimes or situations involving food.
- Excessive, rigid exercise regimens despite weather, fatigue, illness or injury, and the need to "burn off" calories taken in.
- Withdrawal from usual friends and activities, social isolation.
- Behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting and control of food are becoming primary concerns.
- Deterioration of school and work performance.
- Pronounced emotional changes: irritability, suspiciousness, secretiveness, hostility, intolerance.
- Wearing of over-sized clothing to hide body shape.
Warning Signs of Bulimia Nervosa:
- Evidence of binge-eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or the existence of wrappers and containers indicating the consumption of large amounts of food.
- Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics.
- An excessive, rigid exercise regimen, despite weather, fatigue, illness or injury. The need to "burn off" calories taken in.
- Unusual swelling of the cheeks or jaw area.
- Calluses and scars on the back of the hands and knuckles from self-induced vomiting.
- Discoloration or staining of the teeth.
- Creation of complex lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge-and-purge sessions.
- Withdrawal from usual friends and activities, or mood swings.
- In general, behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting and control of food are becoming primary concerns.
Information provided by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).