EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

Eating Disorders Among Gap Year Students

PicsArt_01-15-11.21.40

Each year, ten thousand two hundred deaths are the direct result of an eating disorder—that's one death every 52 minutes. 9% of the world has an eating disorder. Eating disorders are also a sign of mental health problems. About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide.

Eating disorders are prevalent, especially among young women. The number of cases in the Jewish population is increasing. However, the exact number is still unknown.

Most people know about two eating disorders:  anorexia and bulimia.  Not known to most people, the most common eating disorder is EDNOS –  or “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified."  Here is a short description of the three:

  • Anorexia - A disorder in which an individual refuses to maintain minimally average body weight, intensely fears gaining weight and does not see their real body shape or size. One of the most common reasons for anorexia is a bad body image. Many girls want to fit a certain standard of 'beauty' that is unhealthy and unrealistic.
  • Bulimia - A disorder in which a person binges on food followed by behavior, such as extreme exercise, vomiting, and the use of laxatives—all to prevent weight gain.
  • EDNOS- This is a combination of anorexia and bulimia. A person may stop eating, then binge and purge. An individual may also overeat, not purge, and then not eat for a day.

Warning signs

  • Restricting one's food intake. Students might distract others by cooking and baking a lot, giving them the illusion that they are big eaters.
  • They have misperceived body image. The student complains about being fat but looks fine. Many teenagers do this routinely, which are usually combined with other behaviors or exaggerated perceptions.
  • Sudden weight loss. Generally speaking, a weight loss of 10lb (4.5 kilos) is considered a danger sign for people who are not trying to lose weight. If a student's clothes are no longer fitting them, if they appear gaunt – it’s a sign of substantial weight loss.  Weight loss can cause hair to become dull and thin, increased acne, and generally an unhealthy appearance.
  • Reluctance to show their body. Because of #2 & #3, students suffering from eating disorders hide their bodies by wearing baggy clothes, not showering, or changing where others may see them.
  • Mouth sores and dental problems. Acid from purging often results in these problems,
  • Depression. Eating disorders are mental health problems, and depressive symptoms are associated with these disorders.
  • Rituals. People with eating disorders tend to develop patterns regarding their food, such as not letting the fork tines touch their mouth. These teens may spend an unreasonable amount of time in the bathroom, either purging or with other rituals.
  • Manipulation is a common theme telling people in the lunchroom that they will eat in their dorm room, telling people in their dorm room that they already ate, or lying about what they eat – people with eating disorders try to control their environment manipulating those around them. If a student has some constipation medication and "runs out" because she has misused it.

 Don’t ignore the signs! Ideally, a person with an eating disorder should receive treatment as early as possible.  The earlier the treatment begins, the easier it will be to gain control over the condition.

Control is the keyword.  Most individuals with an eating disorder will tell you it began because they wanted to control their lives. They wanted to be happier, prettier, better liked, and in charge.  Like coming to Israel, away from home for the first time, any transition may trigger a feeling of loneliness and insecurity.  What ends up happening is that the disorder takes control over their life! The eating disorder becomes an addiction.

B2ap3 Large Antibody Test

In the short term, a lack of nutrition can result in low blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.  Not eating makes it more difficult for the brain to work.  People become foggy and apathetic. Eating disorders are a significant reason why gap year students leave before the end of the year.

In the long term, eating disorders cause fertility problems.  A client of ours with infertility previously had bulimia. 

Treatment for eating disorders involves a medical evaluation and therapy, a nutritionist, and a therapist. Without appropriate treatment, eating disorders can be fatal.

If your child has an eating disorder and is coming to Israel, you must alert the administration to the issue even if your child has completed treatment. It is in your child’s best interest to have the administration be on the lookout for a relapse. It could be the difference between life and death!

If you have concerns and would like your child to get treatment in Israel or continue treatment that has been started, EMA Care is here for you.  We can arrange appointments with a doctor, nutritionist, and therapist. 

Appendicitis in Gap Year Students
The Psychological Effects of Lockdowns

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://emacare.com/

Our Latest Blogs

13 June 2021
Head lice are tiny bugs that feed on blood from the human scalp. An infestation of head lice is widespread among children who get lice from direct contact with someone who already has head lice. Most first-world countries have a rule about children w...
06 June 2021
Over the past few months, Israel has been going through a hard time. First, we had a year of the COVID-19 pandemic where movement restrictions were imposed to help control the disease spreading. Then we had the Meron tragedy in which 45 people were t...
01 June 2021
This year it is estimated that over a million Jews worldwide have been looking into making Aliyah. This is probably due to the global Coronavirus pandemic and the increasing radical events that have been happening across the globe. Many people are ch...

EMA Care in the News

27 April 2021
In April 2021, after a long year with a strict non-entry policy, the Israeli government decided to allow visitors to enter Israel under certain circumstances. The Israeli government was reluctant about opening its borders. Therefore, they haven't mad...
18 June 2020
The following article was published in the English addition of Hamodia. Written by Joel Rebibo...
14 June 2020
What will be the 'new normal' for Israel's gap year programs? According to EMA Care, an estimated 80% of programs will close down permanently if they are not able to reopen in the fall. By TZVI JOFFRE    JUNE 4, 2020 11:58  &...

What Our Clients Say

Interview with Dr. Mobeen & Dr. Eliana Aaron

Many thanks for your hour-long session on Dr. Syed's YouTube channel. This is the best Hasbara Israel could wish for!

Read More...

EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional.  Bravo to both of you ladies!! 

Read More...

EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thanks so much for your time and attention! It was excellent! Thank you guys so much for organizing.

Read More...

EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thank you! Very helpful and comprehensive.

Read More...

Ema Care WhatsApp groups

I have been following your updates closely and I really appreciate your posts and I know that I am reading accurate information 

Read More...

Recommended by an Infectious Disease Specialist

My experience with Ema Care has been so positive that I wanted to share it in case it could help someone else. Eight days ago my daughter, a Shanah Bet student, called to say she wasn’t feeling well and had symptoms of Covid-19. I was put in touch with an Infectious Disease specialist who recommended Ema Care. I reached Dr. Eliana Aaron easily and signed my daughter up. The next morning, Ema Care gave my daughter a telehealth exam and provided her with prescriptions, as well as a list of

...
Read More...

Pandemic Planning

I would like to also add my compliments, you exceeded my already very high expectations. You can certainly send other schools our way for a recommendation. 

-Mr. E. Naiman

Read More...

Emacares Youtube Channel

"I recently discovered your channel and all i can say is that this is just brilliant"

Read More...

A Wonderful and Patient Resource

Dear Dr. Eliana words simply cannot express how much you have done for all of us and so many others in keeping us informed, calming anxieties, and being such a wonderful and patient resource through such a difficult time. Wishing you much bracha and hatzlacha in the merit of all the countless mitzvot u have done to help so many through these trying times; mikol halev, ein milim and thanks so so much .

Gap Year Program Staff

Read More...

A True Tzadikah

Hello Dr. Aaron. I cannot thank you enough for providing not only crucial information but a framework that gave us stability and allowed us to function (instead of descending into chaos, which undoubtedly would have happened, if not for you). At the risk of waxing dramatic, I will tell you that when I think of what you've done these past couple of months, what comes to mind is Rav Yohanan Ben Zakai asking Vespasian to give him Yavneh ve-Hakhameha, thus saving the entire enterprise of Talmud

...
Read More...