eating disorders


Hunger, according to scientists, is physiological, a sensation that occurs when the blood sugar begins to drop and the stomach contracts. But we are all aware that many people eat for emotional reasons as well. Try the quiz below to give you some idea of how well attuned you are to your own habits and how your emotions influence your eating habits.

DIRECTIONS: Use the following guidelines to give yourself a score of 0-8 for each item:

8 Very often-almost every other day

6 Often-one to three times a week

4 Occasionally-two to three times a month

2 Rarely-once every month to three months

0 Never


1. I eat foods that I know aren't nutritious.

2. I eat meals or heavy snacks after 7 at night.

3. I'm afraid I'll gain weight.

4. I eat when I'm not hungry.

5. I eat foods my parents don't want me to eat.

6. I'm self-conscious about how I look.

7. When I'm bored or depressed, I eat a lot.

8. I go on eating binges.

9. I eat until I'm uncomfortable.

10. I hide foods or sneak them.

11. I eat because I feel "who cares"?

12. I drink alcoholic beverages.

13. I have uncontrollable urges of hunger.

14. Feelings of anger or hostility overwhelm me.

15. I indulge in sweets.

16. I eat when I'm tired or overtired.

17. I like to eat alone.

18. I use appetite suppressants.

19. My parents made sweets available or used them for rewards.

20. I eat and run.

21. I don't have respect for myself and my body.

22. I feel rushed or hurried.

23. I have a snack or meal an hour before I go to bed.

24. I crave sweet foods.

25. When I eat with other people, I feel self-conscious.

26. I gulp my food.

27. I wish I looked like someone else.

28. I eat or drink in secret.

29. I feel as if I'm in the middle of a struggle.

30. I eat when I can't sleep.

Name_______________________________________ Date______________________


What your score means:

120 and below: Good relationship with your body; sensitive to physical needs.

120-160: Average range for normally healthy people.

161-190: Eating is based too much on emotional needs

191 and above: Excessive emotional interference in eating habits.

When emotions lead to poor nutritional habits, it can affect the normal functioning of the body. This, in turn, can make us feel listless. Bingeing, gorging, eating at the wrong time, or constant snacking can result in bloating and eventually obesity. Eating too fast or too much can interfere with the digestive system's ability to use nutrients properly.


1. Into which category does your score place you?

2. Are you happy or unhappy with your eating habits? Explain.

3. What can you do to improve your eating habits? (List at least three suggestion

Name______________________________________ Date__________________________________

DIRECTIONS: Analyze the advertisements you found and answer the questions.

1. Describe the people shown in your advertisement.

2. What product is being advertised?

3. Is the emphasis in your ad on the product or the people?

4. Why do you think the advertiser used those particular people in the ad? What does the ad seem to imply?

5. Do you think the people in the ad represent typical Americans? Why or why not?

6. Do you think people tend to compare themselves to the images the media portrays?

7. How can associating beautiful/thin/fit people with products help to sell the products?

8. Do you think the media has contributed to some people having eating disorders? Why or why not? Explain.



Eating disorders are serious diseases that can develop for many reasons. A negative body image, pressure from friends and coaches, a perfectionlist attitude, or a feeling of lack of control over one's life are a few factors that contribute to eating disorder development. Are you at risk for developing an eating disorder? Answer yes or no to the following statements:



I am preoccupied with food, weight, calories, and body image.

I constantly think about "feeling fat"

I binge on large amounts of food.

I purge to get rid of calories.

I skip meals, eat alone, and choose unusual foods to eat.

I use laxatives and/or diuretics to lose weight

I exercise compulsively.

I am withdrawn from family and/or friends.

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