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Myrtle Beach SkyWheel shines spotlight on eating disorders

On Wednesday, one of the biggest landmarks in Myrtle Beach joined in on a national fight against the deadliest mental disorder in the United States.

Blue and green spotlights were shining on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel to bring attention to eating disorders.

From the Empire State Building to the Los Angeles Airport, 68 landmarks across the country donned green and blue.

The National Eating Disorders Association pointed to several national surveys that found more than 30 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives, and some don't even realize they have a problem.

Linda Runk is a holistic health practitioner working out of 360 Health Care.

She says, many times, the root cause of the most common eating disorders, bulimia and anorexia, is a lack of confidence in one's appearance.

"They not only have chemical aspects of issues, but it also is body typing,” said Runk. “They're worried about their body image, so they choose not to eat thinking that would solve the problem, but it never does. "

Runk says many times people go to extremes with their workouts to get fit and pick up bad habits, like drinking protein shakes as meals.

"Some people try to over-exercise, so they're actually starving themselves due to malnutrition, like lack of eating and/or over-exercising, which based on what they're eating is not sufficient for what they're doing," she said.

Runk says women have more of a tendency to develop eating problems, but it's a problem that affects men too and can lead to a litany of other health problems.

"Men, the most common thing I see is diabetes. It's climbing at an alarming rate, so I'd say more than 50 to 60 percent of the men that I see have diabetes or the start of diabetes, and that's of course a very deadly disease," she said.

Runk says everyone should see someone about their daily eating routine because there may be some things you don't know that can be helpful.

If you know someone who is showing symptoms of an eating disorder, such as rapid weight loss or gains, refusal to eat in public, or binge eating, you shouldn't ignore it--they may not even realize they need help.

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