The kicker for Penn State’s legendary football team is making headlines. This isn’t unusual for Joey Julius. He often gets attention for making big tackles – a unique trait for kickers. This time it’s for telling the world he has an eating disorder.

Julius recently posted a very personal public statement on Facebook. In it he explains his absence from the team’s pre-season workouts. Based on weight changes, anxiety levels and declining performance, the team’s staff noticed he needed help. They recommended he seek care for Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

BED is characterized by episodes of binge eating at least once a week for three months. It’s the most common eating disorder. About 3.5 percent of people meet the criteria. Athletes are also more likely to develop eating disorders than non-athletes.

About 25-40 percent of those seeking obesity treatment may have BED. Our own Melrose Center says that more than one in four new patients at Melrose have the disorder.

Not everyone who binge eats has BED. You may occasionally binge eat without experiencing the negative physical, mental or social effects of BED. If you or someone you love is struggling with food, eating disorder centers like Melrose can help. Learn the signs to look for.

Learn more in the Melrose Heals podcast

During each episode of the Melrose Heals podcast, Karen L. Nelson, a licensed clinical psychologist at Melrose Center, hosts honest conversations about the topics near and dear to people and families impacted by eating disorders. We hope you’ll listen and start healing.