Eating disorders (EDs) are serious mental illnesses with significant, life-threatening physical and psychological complications.
Types of Eating Disorders
- Anorexia Nervosa: A serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by food restriction, weight loss and intense fear of gaining weight and often a denial of the severity of weight loss or low weight.
- Bulimia Nervosa: A serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing (a feeling of loss of control while eating large quantities of food) and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.
- Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards;
- Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED), is a feeding or eating disorder that causes significant distress or impairment, but does not meet the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder.
For more information on eating or feeding disorders, visit the National Eating Disorders Association.
Important Facts about Eating Disorders
- EDs affect men and women; children, adolescents and adults; people from all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds; and people with a variety of body shapes, weights and sizes
- People who are normal weight can have EDs
- Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder
- The serious medical consequences of EDs can go unrecognized
- Some people struggling with EDs may not understand the severity of their condition