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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the difference between and eating disorder and disordered eating?

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    Mariela Occelli

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Mariela Occelli is a Clinical Psychologist with well over 20 years experience in the assessment and treatment of clinical disorders. She has worked in private … View Profile

    Disordered eating refers to a pattern of behaviours relating to eating that is unhealthy or dysfunctional but does not meet criteria for diagnosis of an eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, etc. Disordered eating behaviours may include excessive food restrictions, irregular patterns of eating, compulsive eating, following obsessive routines around eating or food preparation, etc. Whilst a disordered eating pattern may not meet criteria for diagnosis of a specific eating disorder, the individual experiences adverse consequences such as emotional distress, social or  vocational impairment, or health issues such as malnutrition, fatigue, poor concentration, etc. Individuals with disordered eating may develop anxiety or depression.

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