POSTED: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 6:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 7:18pm
TYLER, TX (KETK) - — February is national eating disorder awareness month.
24 million men and women suffer from an eating disorder. 13 million Americans suffer from binge eating, 10 million women suffer from anorexia or bulimia and one million men.
"A lot of people in East Texas think its not a problem but that's not the case," said Dietitian Sara Upson.
Upson says many people who suffer from eating disorders usually fall through the gaps.
She says people are so focused on losing weight, they forget about the aspect of being healthy.
"We see that there are eating disorders here and the problem is people aren't getting the treatment that they need."
Upson sees at least 10 patients a week dealing with an eating disorder.
Therapist Delos Pinzino sees the same problem.
30% of her patients suffer from some form of an eating disorder.
Patients as young as 10 years old.
Pinzino says it's not only a psychological problem but a physical one as well and would describe an eating disorder as an addiction.
"There is a real strong control component when it comes to eating disorders. The one thing in this world that I have control over is what I ingest and whether I keep it down or not."
She says people become obsessed with being skinny and the tabloids do not help.
Portion sizes at restaurants and fast food chains popping up all over the country contribute to the growing issue.
"We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and this leads to these kinds of disorders,"said Pinzino.
Eating disorders do not just affect the person, but also everyone around them.