Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses associated with the disturbance of eating or eating-related behaviours. The types of eating disorder are:

  • Anorexia nervosa – restriction of food or behaviour to limit weight gain, often associated with disturbed body image and fear of gaining weight.
  • Bulimia nervosa – recurrent episodes of uncontrolled eating of large amounts (binge eating) followed by compensatory behaviours such as self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse or excessive exercise (purging).
  • Binge eating – uncontrolled eating of large amounts in short periods without the compensatory behaviours.
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) – avoiding certain food types. This could be a sensory-based avoidance such as taste or smell, or patients may have had a distressing experience, such as vomiting or abdominal pain, creating fear and anxiety around a food
  • Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) – symptoms of an eating disorder that don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for other disorders.
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