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Eating disorders and body image

If someone you know seems unusually preoccupied with food and their weight, has strange eating rituals or sneaks off to the bathroom straight after meals, they might be dealing with an eating disorder.

There are many different types of eating disorders from mild through to severe cases that can have dramatic health consequences and even result in death. Treatment is available to help people with disordered eating to develop a healthy attitude towards food and in turn lead healthier lives.

While many people have heard of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, there are several other eating disorders that often come under the name 'other specified feeding and eating disorders' (OSFED). These generally refer to people who might have many of the symptoms of one or more types of eating disorder, but who don't meet all the criteria for a diagnosis of any single disorder.

Head to Health, an online gateway funded by the Australian Government that can help you find free and low-cost, trusted phone and online mental health resources, including information about eating disorders. Or find out more below.

Eating disorders - overview

An unhealthy relationship with food and eating may indicate an eating disorder, a potentially serious mental health condition.

Anorexia nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa have an irrational fear of gaining weight and put themselves on restrictive diets and harsh, punishing exercise routines.

Binge-eating disorder (BED)

Binge-eating disorder (BED) often involves someone eating large amounts of food even after they feel full. Discover more about BED here.

Body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder causes someone to feel shame or disgust with part of their body or appearance. Any body part can become its focus.

Body image

Having an unhealthy body image is bad for general wellbeing and is also incredibly time consuming. Here are a few tips for improving your body image.

Bulimia nervosa

It's not unusual to be concerned about body image or diet, but using extreme weight loss methods can lead to eating disorders, like bulimia nervosa.

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Top results

Eating disorders

Eating disorders are a mental illness. The most common types are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other binge eating disorders. They can affect women and men of all age groups, from a range of backgrounds and cultures. Many people might be living with these disorders without being diagnosed.

Read more on WA Health website

Eating Disorders in Australia

Eating disorders and disordered eating together are estimated to affect over 16% of the Australian population

Read more on NEDC - National Eating Disorders Collaboration website

Binge eating disorder

Unlike those with bulimia nervosa, a person with binge eating disorder will not use compensatory behaviours, such as self-induced vomiting or over-exercising after binge eating

Read more on NEDC - National Eating Disorders Collaboration website

Eating disorders and males - Eating Disorders Victoria

Research indicates that up to 25% of people experiencing an eating disorder are male

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Binge eating disorder - Eating Disorders Victoria

Binges represent a distraction that allows a person to avoid thinking about the real root of their problems

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Other eating disorders - Eating Disorders Victoria

According to the DSM-5 criteria, to be diagnosed as having OSFED, a person must present with symptoms similar to other eating disorders but not meet the full criteria of, for example, anorexia or bulimia

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Living with someone with an eating disorder - Eating Disorders Victoria

Its often difficult to know what to do when you live with someone with an eating disorder

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Eating disorders explained - Eating Disorders Victoria

Below are lists of behavioural, physical and psychological signs or changes that often accompany an eating disorder

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Binge Eating Disorder | The Butterfly Foundation

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Read more on Butterfly Foundation website

What is binge eating disorder? | Eating disorders | ReachOut Australia

There are signs that indicate someone might have binge eating disorder, as well as a number of ways to get help.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

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