What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are problems with the way people eat. They can harm a person’s health, emotions, and relationships. There are several types of eating disorders. 

What Are the Different Types of Eating Disorders?

Common types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

Anorexia. People with anorexia:

  • eat very little on purpose. This leads to a very low body weight.
  • have an intense fear of weight gain. They fear looking fat.
  • have a distorted body image. They see themselves as fat even when they are very thin.

People with anorexia are very strict about what and how much they will eat. They may think about food or calories almost all the time.

To lose weight, some people with anorexia fast or exercise too much. Others may use laxatives, diuretics (water pills), or enemas.

Bulimia. People with bulimia:

  • overeat and feel out of control to stop. This is called binge eating.
  • do things to make up make up for overeating. They may make themselves throw up on purpose after they overeat. This is called purging. To prevent weight gain they may use laxatives, diuretics, weight loss pills, fast, or exercise a lot.
  • judge themselves based on body shape and weight

People with bulimia eat much more (during a set period of time) than most people would. If a person regularly binges and purges, it may be a sign of bulimia. Unlike people with anorexia who are very low weight, people with bulimia may be thin, average weight, or overweight. People with bulimia often hide their eating and purging from others.

Binge eating. People with binge eating disorder:
  • overeat and feel out of control to stop. This is called binge eating.
  • eat large amounts even when they are not hungry
  • may feel upset or guilty after binge eating
  • often gain weight, and may become very overweight

Many people with binge eating disorder eat faster than normal. They may eat alone so others don’t see how much they are eating. Unlike people with bulimia, those with binge eating disorder do not make themselves throw up, use laxatives, or exercise a lot to make up for binge eating. If a person binge eats at least once a week for 3 months, it may be a sign of binge eating disorder.

ARFID. People with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID):
  • are not interested in food or avoid foods
  • lose weight, or don’t gain expected amount of weight
  • are not afraid of gaining weight
  • don’t have a poor body image

People with ARFID don’t eat because they are turned off by the smell, taste, texture, or color of food. They may be afraid that they will choke or vomit. They don’t have anorexia, bulimia, or another medical problem that would explain their eating behaviors.

Link: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/eat-disorder.html?WT.ac=ctg#catmental-health

Back to Top
Close Zoom

Call Now