Health Topics

Eating Disorders

The term eating disorder refers to a group of disorders where an eating behavior endangers a person’s physical and psychosocial health. Eating disorders are serious mental health problems and can be life-threatening. 

Anorexia Nervosa 

An eating disorder where a person refuses to maintain a weight at or above the normal range for his or her age and height. People with anorexia nervosa may also binge and purge.  

Bulimia Nervosa

Cycles of overeating followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain.  May include vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics or too much exercise.  

Binge Eating Disorder

Recurring episodes of eating much more food in a short period of time than most people would eat, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control. Someone with binge eating disorder may eat too quickly, even when he or she is not hungry. The person may have feelings of guilt, embarrassment, or disgust and may binge eat alone to hide the behavior. This disorder is linked with marked distress and occurs, on average, at least once a week over three months.

Eating Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified)

A term used for people who have disordered eating behaviors, are unhappy  with their body weight or shape and may  exhibit harmful weight-control behaviors that do not meet full criteria for one of the more severe eating disorders above.

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Last Updated: 08/2013