Eating behaviour exists on a spectrum: at one end is a healthy and intuitive relationship with food and your body; at the other end are clinical eating disorders. So when does disordered eating become an eating disorder?
To explain what is disordered in terms of eating, it is helpful to look at the other end of the spectrum first: what is healthy eating.
Healthy Eating Behaviours:
Healthy eating behaviours is different for every person. It may look like:
Disordered Eating Behaviours:
Disordered eating is used to describe a range of irregular eating behaviours. It is a descriptive phrase, not a diagnosis. Disordered eating may look like:
Although these signs may also be used to describe an eating disorder, the severity and frequency is often lesser in people with disordered eating. Disordered eating behaviours are among the most common risk factors for the development of an eating disorder.
Eating Disorder Behaviours
Eating disorders are classified into different types, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Fifth Edition. Classifications are made based on the presenting symptoms and how often these occur, and include:
If your eating habits have become concerning or are distressing to you, i may be time to reach out to a health care professional. Even if you do not have a diagnosed eating disorder, if eating is causing you to feel shame, guilt, fear or anxiety, you are worthy of seeking support and amending your relationship with food.
©2021 [alice bleathman dietitian]