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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the common types of eating disorders?

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    The Butterfly Foundation was founded in August 2002 by Claire Vickery who found many ‘gaps’ in the public health system for those experiencing eating disorders. … View Profile

    The common types of eating disorders are the following:


    Anorexia Nervosa is characterised by severe starvation and weight loss, sometimes with
    purging behaviours as well. Anorexia sufferers experience high body distortion and mistakenly
    believe and feel they are overweight, no matter how underweight they may actually be.


    Bulimia Nervosa is characterised by recurrent binge eating episodes followed by compensatory
    behaviours such as self induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas and other
    medications, fasting and overexercising. A binge episode involves consuming a large amount of food in a short period of time, whilst also experiencing a loss of control and intense feelings
    of guilt.


    Binge Eating Disorder is characterised by periods of binge eating without compensatory
    behaviours. Bingeing normally involves eating excessive amounts of food, often when not
    hungry, followed by intense feelings of guilt, depression and shame. Bingeing often serves as a
    distraction for someone to avoid thinking about underlying emotional difficulties. BED affects
    men and women equally.


    EDNOS is a term used to describe an atypical presentation of an eating disorder that does not
    meet all of the diagnostic criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder. This does not
    mean in any way that someone experiencing an EDNOS is any less unwell or deserving of help.

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