Eating Disorders

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: 

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia 
  • 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 

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.

AnorexiaBulimiaBinge Eating 
Missing meals Preoccupation with body shapeEating when not hungry 
Lying about food Feeling unable to stop eatingRapid eating 
Excessive exerciseInducing vomiting Guilt about eating
Taking weight loss pillsTaking laxatives Eating in secret 
Taking laxatives Intermittent fasting Hiding food
Excessive dieting Irrational fear of weight gainExtreme weight loss or gain
Inducing vomitingAbdominal painOther mental health symptoms
Feeling cold or dizzyFatigueIntermittent dieting