What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is the outward sign of inner emotional or psychological distress, since it becomes the way in which sufferers cope with difficulties in their lives.

Eating or not eating is used as a way to block out painful emotions, and it produces a feeling of control over one area of the sufferers life, when they feel that they have lost control over all the other areas of it.

There are medical definitions given to the most common forms of eating disorders; including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.

Eating disorders can affect anyone, of any age, gender or race. However, it principally affects young women and girls, with about 90% of sufferers being female, but the number of male sufferers is increasing.

What is disordered eating?

Many people who do not have an eating disorder, nevertheless find that their lives are controlled by thinking about food, diets and body image.

Click on the subjects below to get more information:

Anorexia - Bulimia - Binge-Eating Disorder - Disordered Eating
Exercise Addiction - Orthorexia Nervosa - Body Dysmorphic (BDD)
Causes of Eating Problems and Disorders - Consequences of Eating Disorders
Eating Disorders and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - Eating Disorders and Men

Personal Accounts - click on the links below to read:

A letter from Emily

"Somebody Someday: a discussion with Flora"

"A New Day"


Photo of Melanie C: photographer- Max Dodson. Date: October 2002. Copyright: Virgin Records Ltd.

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