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Strange food combinations could indicate eating disorders

The nature of eating disorders is usually extremely secretive, as many sufferers keep their conditions behind closed doors for as long as possible.

In many cases, individuals are too ashamed to come clean to their loved ones about their struggle with food, as they are embarrassed their illness will not be taken seriously.

Very often, they spend a lot of time hiding their bodies under baggy clothes in a bid to keep their condition - during which they starve themselves or binge eat - to themselves.

However, new research has shown that people who eat many different types of foods together may also be at risk of a binge eating disorder - something that can affect just as many people as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

Diagnosing the disorder

The study, carried out by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, highlighted that those individuals who create unusual concoctions - such as mashed potatoes and Oreo cookies - are more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder.

Worryingly, the research noted that one in four people create these strange food combinations on a regular basis.

In addition, it was also revealed that individuals who mix a variety of items reported the kind of emotions that are associated with drug use, including feelings of disgust and shame that exacerbate the symptoms of the disorder further.

Of the 500 participants from the University of Alabama and University of Texas at El Paso, some 40 per cent said they concocted food due to cravings, while just nine per cent admitted they were hungry at the time.

Dr Mary Boggiano, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and the study's lead author, said: "While they are food concocting and binge eating they report being excited, in a frenzy and high, but afterwards they feel awful about themselves."

She added: "Secrets can kill us. The more secretive a patient is with aspects of an addiction or eating disorder, the worse off he or she will be because they will continue to engage in their secret, maladaptive behavior."

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