Is there a way to prevent bulimia nervosa?

Bulimia is an illness in which a person binges on food or has regular episodes of overeating and feels a loss of control. The person then uses different methods to prevent weight gain, such as vomiting or abusing laxatives.

Many people with bulimia also have anorexia nervosa and it is more common among women than men. Common victims are adolescent girls and young women. The affected person is usually aware that her eating pattern is abnormal and may feel fear or guilt with the binge-purge episodes.

The exact cause of bulimia is unknown. Genetic, psychological, trauma, family, society, or cultural factors may play a role. Bulimia is likely due to more than one factor.

Bulimia cannot really be prevented, but early treatment may be the best way to prevent the disorder from progressing. Knowing the signs of bulimia and seeking immediate medical care can help prevent long-term health problems caused by bulimia.

Prevention may be also looked as ways in which parents and adults can help children and teens to develop a healthy view of themselves and learn to approach food and exercise with a positive attitude. This can be done by:

(1) Teaching children to take good care of their bodies. Avoid making comments that link being thin to being popular or healthy;

(2) Avoiding punishing or rewarding your children with food. And be a good role model for healthy eating and exercising.