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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

This mental health condition involves an unhealthy relationship with food. About 1 in 7 people experience an eating disorder in their lifetime.

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

An unhealthy body image affects your wellbeing and mental health, and may lead to eating disorders. Here are a few tips for improving 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.

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

What Is Binge Eating Disorder? | Eating Disorders Victoria

Eating Disorders Victoria provides information on what is binge eating disorder, warning signs, the physical effects, and treatment and recovery options.

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Eating disorders -

Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are the main eating disorders. Abnormal eating patterns are one symptom.

Read more on myDr 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

Living With Someone With An Eating Disorder | Eating Disorders Victoria

Eating Disorders Victoria provides tips and guidance for people living with someone with an eating disorder. Call us at 1300 550 236 if you need more help.

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria 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

Treatments for eating disorders | Eating disorders | ReachOut Australia

There are a number of different types of eating disorder treatments, as well as different health professionals you can talk to about them.

Read more on 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 website

Eating disorders | What​ ​is​​ ​eating​ ​disorder | Kids Helpline

Learn more about the impact of eating disorders on the overall wellbeing of an individual. For more support get in contact with us at Kids Helpline today!

Read more on Kids Helpline website

Binge eating disorder - Butterfly Foundation

Binge Eating Disorder is a serious mental illness characterised by regular episodes of binge eating. Click for a fact sheet.

Read more on Butterfly Foundation website

Eating Disorders In Children, Teens, Pregnancy | Eating Disorders Victoria

Eating Disorders Victoria provides information on the life stages eating disorders can occur in: eating disorders in children, teens, pregnancy and midlife.

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

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