What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders affect how individuals view and deal with food, eating, and weight. There are several types of eating disorders:
is an illness in which individuals do not maintain a healthy weight, develop unusual rules and restrictions about eating, and focus on body size as a main part of their identity, always fearful about "being fat." These individuals may or may not binge eat or throw up after eating. Bulimia Nervosa
is a condition in which individuals lose control over their eating and consume large amounts of food ("bingeing"), and then feel the need to compensate for this calorie intake through such activities as throwing up, abusing laxatives, or over exercising ("purging"). Many people with significant concerns and problems with eating and weight do not technically meet criteria for these diagnoses, but still have an Eating Disorder, and this category is labeled as Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED)
. It is no less serious than the other disorders. Lately, mental health and medical care providers have become more aware of a disorder labeled Binge Eating Syndrome
, in which excessive amounts of food are eaten in a discrete period of time but in which no compensatory strategies, like purging, are employed. Orthorexia
is a condition in which one becomes obsessed with healthy eating and exercise to the point that it is harmful. Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
- difficulty digesting certain foods, avoiding certain colors or textures of food, eating only very small portions, having no appetite, or being afraid to eat after a frightening episode of choking or vomiting.
To access services:
Physicians should call the Physicians' Priority Line at 1-888-KIDS (5437).
Eating Disorders Program
1000 N. 90th St., Suite 201
Omaha, NE 68114