Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour.
A person with an eating disorder may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.
Types of eating disorders
Eating disorders include a range of conditions that can affect someone physically, psychologically and socially. The most common eating disorders are:
- anorexia nervosa – when a person tries to keep their weight as low as possible; for example, by starving themselves or exercising excessively
- bulimia – when a person goes through periods of binge eating and is then deliberately sick or uses laxatives (medication to help empty the bowels) to try to control their weight
- binge eating disorder (BED) – when a person feels compelled to overeat large amounts of food in a short space of time
Some people, particularly those who are young, may be diagnosed with an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). This means you have some, but not all, of the typical signs of eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.
This introduction and linked information are from www.nhs.uk.