About Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is a mental illness, more than just a diet, and can take over a person’s life and the lives of those around them.

While unhealthy eating behaviour is involved, they aren’t solely about food, instead they are about control or coping with something else.

“Eating disorders do not always present themselves as a significant loss of weight, those of a normal or higher BMI can have abnormal attitude or behaviour towards food. Someone with an eating disorder may be very focused on their weight or shape, or make unhealthy choices which could lead to damaging results physically, psychologically and socially.”

Hannah Burton, Therapy Partners

Warning signs
  • Diet behaviours
  • Sudden decision to become vegetarian
  • Weight loss
  • Refusing to eat with the family
  • Denial of hunger
  • Skipping Meals
  • Cold intolerance and layered dressing
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Obsessive talking about food and counting calories
  • Increased picky eating of only eating healthy foods
  • Cooking for others but not eating
  • Food rituals and compulsions
  • Anxiety about weight

What causes eating disorders?

Eating disorders don’t discriminate, and occur in females and males, across all age groups, across all socioeconomic groups and cultural backgrounds.

There is no single cause of an eating disorder but there are a number of risk factors which may trigger the development of disordered eating patterns. (BEAT 2017)

Risk factors include:

  • Body Image pressures – through the power of the media and social network sites
  • Trauma and stress
  • Bullying
  • Family/ relationship difficulties
  • Puberty
  • Abuse
  • Periods of transition or change
  • Perfectionism
Types of eating disorders

Learn about different types of eating disorders categorised by their symptoms and health affects.

Body image

Due to societal expectations, our body image and the way we see ourselves can become distorted.

Effects and Consequences

An eating disorder is a mental illness and can take over a person’s life and the lives of those around them.

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