The term eating disorders refers to a range of conditions involving unhealthy preoccupation with eating, exercise or body shape, which can have serious physical and emotional impacts.
How common is it?
Eating Disorders can affect anyone at any age but are most reported in adolescence and young adulthood. It is estimated that around 4% of the general Australian population experience an eating disorder at any given time. Binge Eating Disorder is reported in approximately 6% of the population, whereas Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa affect under 1% of the population.
Are there different types of eating disorders?
There are several different types of eating disorders. The most known are:
- Anorexia Nervosa is restrictive food intake and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. There is often feelings of intense fear of gaining weight or becoming overweight and placing an excessive amount of importance and attention on body image. There may also be excessive exercising, or binge-eating or purging behaviours.
- Bulimia Nervosa is repeated episodes of unusually large amounts of food in a relatively short amount of time, followed by behaviours such as vomiting, fasting, excessive exercise, fasting, misusing laxatives or diuretics or other medications or drugs for weight control. There may be excessive importance placed on body shape or weight. Many people with bulimia experience ups and downs in weight within a normal range rather than becoming underweight.
- Binge Eating Disorder is repeated episodes of binge eating, without behaviours such as vomiting or excessive exercise.
Other types include Disordered eating, PICA, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder