What is an eating disorder?
An eating disorder is a mental health condition whereby a person has difficulties consuming a healthy amount of food at a healthy rate; this is sometimes due to worry or concern about their body shape. There are three main types of eating disorder:
- Binge Eating
Anorexia is an eating disorder primarily cause when people have negative feelings about their body shape, most often because they feel they are overweight. In order to lose weight they undertake excessive diets or excessive or both. Anorexia is often characterised by people continuing with these extreme measures even when they are a healthy weight, and ultimately results in them becoming underweight and malnourished.
Bulimia is characterised when people seek to be a healthy weight but they have little control over the food they consume. They often seek pleasure in eating large amounts of food at once and then, through feelings of guilt or a desire to be a healthy weight try to induce vomiting or over use laxatives – both methods are to expel the food.
Binge eating is a disorder that involves eating overly large portions of food until no more can be consumed. People suffering this disorder often plan to do it in advance at a time they are alone. Binge eating can be associated with feelings of guilt.
The symptoms of these disorders are often similar.
|Missing meals||Preoccupation with body shape||Eating when not hungry|
|Lying about food||Feeling unable to stop eating||Rapid eating|
|Excessive exercise||Inducing vomiting||Guilt about eating|
|Taking weight loss pills||Taking laxatives||Eating in secret|
|Taking laxatives||Intermittent fasting||Hiding food|
|Excessive dieting||Irrational fear of weight gain||Extreme weight loss or gain|
|Inducing vomiting||Abdominal pain||Other mental health symptoms|
|Feeling cold or dizzy||Fatigue||Intermittent dieting|