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What are the Types of Eating Disorders

Updated at: Sep 11, 2018
Mental Health
Written by: Bushra KafeelPublished at: Feb 05, 2018
What are the Types of Eating Disorders

A person with eating disorders experiences disturbances in eating behaviour, for instance, depending on the type of eating disorder some people start overeating while the others reduce the food intake.

In eating disorders, a person experiences many disturbances in the eating behaviour, for instance, some people start overeating while the others reduce the food intake. Extreme distresses as well as concern about body weight and shape are the other common problems in all the types of eating disorders. There are mainly three types of eating disorders, namely;

Anorexia Nervosa

People with this disorder severely limit their food intake, they often repeatedly weigh themselves, eats only very small quantities and portions food carefully. They eat only certain foods.  Even when malnourished, the person believes to be overweight and starve for reducing the same. The main characterizing symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Extremely disturbed eating behaviour
  • Emaciation
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • A relentless pursuit of thinness
  • Distorted body image of self
  • Lack of menstruation among girls and women

Bulimia Nervosa

The person with bulimia nervosa lacks control over their eating habits. The uncontrolled urge for either eating far too much or far too less and have recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food. They indulge in binging and purging of food but it is quite hard to identify such person with bulimic behaviour because it is done secretly and is often accompanied by disgust or shame. Moreover, the person with bulimia nervosa is normally weighted. People with bulimia nervosa usually are:

  • Having fear of gaining weight
  • Unhappy with their body size and shape
  • Desperately desire to shed down their weight

Eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS)

EDNOS includes several variations of eating disorders. Binge-eating disorder is a type of EDNOS that has received increasing media attention as well as research in recent years. The binge-eating episodes in EDNOS are not followed by fasting, excessive exercise or purging but psychological illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders do exist in some cases. A disorder is characterized by recurrent binge-eating episodes, overweight or obese and loss of control over his or her eating.


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