| January is traditionally the month where Americans think about getting into shape.|
For a vast majority of us, that means committing to a diet.
But there is a segment of the population for which the concept of dieting takes on a potentially deadly consequence.
These are the individuals whose dieting slips over into the realm of an eating disorder.
According to statistics provided on the South Carolina Department of Metal Health's Web site, approximately 8 million Americans have an eating disorder, of which 7 million are women and 1 million are men.
The most common eating disorder, and the most deadly of all, is anorexia nervosa, which affects approximately one in every 200 American women.
Many famous women, including actresses Jane Fonda and Susan Dey, dancer Paula Abdul, Princess Dianna, athletes Nadia Comaneci and Kathy Rigby and fashion maven Joan Rivers have all suffered from this disorder at some point in their lives.
However, only one in every ten who suffer from this disease actually receive treatment and as many as 10 percent of those with the disease will die from the condition within 10 years of diagnosis.
The average age of an American female suffering from disordered eating is between 12 and 25.
What You Can Do
There are several useful things loved ones can do to support eating disorder recovery. The following is a list of "Dos" and "Don'ts."
You might want to find a support group or educational meeting where you can share your concerns about your loved one.
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