Nurturing and Supporting Mental Wellbeing

Types of Eating Disorders

The Beat Eating Disorders website provides the following definitions for types of eating disorders:


  • Anorexia or anorexia nervosa is a serious mental illness where people are of low weight due to limiting how much they eat and drink. They may develop “rules” around what they feel they can and cannot eat, as well as things like when and where they’ll eat.


  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a condition characterised by the person avoiding certain foods or types of food, having restricted intake in terms of overall amount eaten, or both.


  • Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious mental illness where people eat very large quantities of food without feeling like they’re in control of what they’re doing.


  • Bulimia or bulimia nervosa is characterised by a cycle of eating large quantities of food (called bingeing), and then trying to compensate for that overeating by vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively (called purging).


  • Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED): Sometimes a person’s eating behaviours don’t exactly fit those expected for any of the above eating disorders. In that case, they might be diagnosed with an “other specified feeding or eating disorder” (OSFED).


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