It's normal to change your eating habits from time to time. Sometimes people try out different eating styles, change their diet to try and influence their weight, or occasionally miss a meal. Most of the time, these changes in habits can pass quickly. However, sometimes an eating disorder can develop.
An eating disorder is a focus on food and body weight that causes a person to go to extremes when it comes to eating. Eating disorders affect people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Three of the most common eating disorders diagnosed by a doctor are binge eating disorder, bulimia, and anorexia.
It’s important to remember that eating disorders are not all about food itself. Eating disorders are often about feelings too. The way a person treats food may make them feel more able to cope, or may make them feel in control. Sometimes a person might not be aware that these feelings are leading to their behaviour around food.
Eating disorders can be very stressful and damaging to a person’s wellbeing and also cause physical health problems. Getting help early with an eating disorder or disordered eating is very important. If you are worried about how you think, feel or behave around food or exercise, speak with your Public Health Nurse, GP, or another adult that you trust.