Are there eating disorders you know of that people might not be aware of?

I think it's worth saying that 85% of people with disorders are not underweight.

And I think often when we think of eating disorders, we think of anorexia nervosa we think of like young females, adolescents, really, really skinny people. But it's really worth understanding that actually eating disorders affect people of all weights and body shapes and sizes.

And it's much more than just about anorexia nervosa. So the other eating disorders that you might not be aware of are bulimia nervosa, where people restrict their eating and then binge and purge. Binge eating disorder, where people binge and eat large amounts of food. OSFED, which is other specified eating and feeding disorder, which is basically when you don't fit neatly into an eating disorder diagnosis but you have many symptoms of disordered eating, which can still be very dangerous.

And many people will fall into this OSFED category. And I guess just to really validate that if you fall into that category, your symptoms are still really valid and you are deserving of help. The other eating disorder is ARFID, which is avoidant food restrictive intake disorder. And this is when people are not avoiding food due to fears around weight and shape, which is more common for the other eating disorders. But maybe they are avoiding food due to sensory issues, textures, maybe due to underlying trauma, maybe other things. Rather than that focus on weight and shape.

Harriet Frew

Eating Disorder Therapist

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