Eating Disorder


Eating disorders are mental health conditions related to significant disturbances in eating behaviours, thoughts, and emotions. An intense preoccupation with food, body size, weight, and shape may also indicate eating disorders. Common eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-eating disorder. 

Types of Eating Disorders

Common types of eating disorders can include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa: a condition where people avoid food, drastically restrict their food intake, or eat minimal amounts of the selected food. People with anorexia nervosa may weigh themselves repeatedly and perceive themselves as overweight even when they are dangerously underweight. Anorexia nervosa is a fatal disorder and has an extremely high death rate compared to other conditions. Symptoms include extreme thinness, severely restricted eating, immense fear of gaining weight, distorted body image and self-esteem built upon body size and weight. 
  • Bulimia Nervosa: a condition where people have repeated and frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food and feeling like they cannot control themselves during these episodes. After binge-eating, they would overcompensate for over-eating through forced vomiting, laxatives, excessive exercise or fasting. Symptoms may include inflammation in the throat, swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw area, and dehydration from purging of fluids. 
  • Binge-eating disorder: a condition where people eat high quantities of food and cannot control themselves. Unlike Bulimia Nervosa, they do not compensate for their binge-eating behaviour with purging or excessive exercise. People with binge-eating disorders are often obese or overweight. Symptoms include eating unusually large quantities of food, eating even when full or not hungry, eating alone to avoid shame and embarrassment etc.

Psychology interventions can be effective in helping to change one’s negative thinking patterns in relation to eating, as well as modifying undesirable eating behaviours.