Eating Disorder Awareness Week: What the words 'fat' and 'binge eating' mean to people dealing the conditions

"Fat on me feels like a failure. I don’t feel that way about other people."

People dealing with eating disorders have shared how the words “fat” and “binge eating” make them feel in revealing new videos.

The clips were published as charities and patients work to raise awareness of the debilitating conditions linked to food for Eating Disorder Awareness Week. 

Filmed by production company The Cut, the videos entitled “Fat” and “Binge eating” show women and men take part in word association games.

“Fat” explores how body weight is negatively perceived, and how people view their own bodies with cruelty they wouldn’t impose on others.

When asked what the word "fat" means to them, one speak says: “[Fat is] Like the enemy."

Another says: “I feel like my entire life I’ve been running away from fat”. 

“I associated skinniness with being happy and associated being bigger with being unhappy which is bullshit because you’re super unhappy when you have an eating disorder," one woman says. 

“Fat on me feels like a failure. I don’t feel that way about other people,” adds a man featured in the video. 

When asked to describe what they associate with the phrase “binge eating”, the speakers explored how the behaviour stops being about eating food, but is an emotional crutch. 

One woman describes binge eating as: “Wonderful and guilty at the same time".

“A coping mechanism," says another. 

In the UK, around 725,000 people are affected by an eating disorder, according to the charity Beat.

Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder as the most common illnesses. 

While women are more likely to suffer than men, 11 per cent of males struggle with such conditions.

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