An eating disorder is a mental health condition where people use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations.
Unhealthy eating behaviours include eating too much or too little food or inappropriate worrying about weight or body shape. Whilst anyone can get an eating disorder, teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 are the most commonly affected.
Broadly speaking there are 5 main ‘labelled’ Eating Disorders:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Weight control by not eating enough food, exercising too much or doing both
- Losing control over food consumption and then taking drastic action to not put weight on
- Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
- Eating excessive portions of food resulting in severe discomfort
- Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
- Where eating disorder symptoms do not specifically match the expected symptoms of the other specifically defined eating disorders
- Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
- When certain foods are avoided or food intake is limited (or both) – but not driven by concern about body shape or weight