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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.

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What's the link between eating disorders and autism? Get the research about autism and eating disorders including anorexia nervosa and ARFID.

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Binge eating disorder is a psychological illness characterised by frequently eating excessive amounts of food. Find out more about binge eating today.

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Eating Disorders Victoria provides information on what is an eating disorder including warning signs, classifying eating disorders and risk factors.

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Recovery is possible with the right eating disorder treatment. Eating Disorders Victorias explains treatment options for Victorian adults.

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Looking for an eating disorder podcast? Candid Conversations by Eating Disorders Victoria is designed to help you ride the waves of recovery.

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Eating Disorders Victoria provides eating disorder support groups in a range of locations across Melbourne. Book now to attend.

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Find eating disorder courses online through EDV's e-learning platform, LearnED. Created by the team at Eating Disorders Victoria.

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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

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