What Are the Major Categories of Eating Disorders?

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There are three major categories of eating disorders there is anorexia nervosa, which basically is defined by a self induced weight loss, usually to a level of at least 85% or less of ideal body weight but actually sometimes you can see people get as low as 50% ideal body weight so it can be quite extreme.

The key here is self induced, it's not a result of a medical illness, it's not from cancer, it's not from AIDS, it is an intentional process. Often people with that diagnosis have a very distorted body image, they don't even recognize how they're getting. Bulimia Nervosa is second diagnosis and that is defined really by two things.

One is binge eating which is subjective sense of loss of control overeating, it's eating a lot of food in a limited period of time, kind of defining a binge. And then some compensatory behavior, that can be self induced vomiting, it could laxative abuse, it could be exercise, you see people who might be exercising three or four to five hours a day to make up for a binge they did earlier.

Or extreme dietary restrictions, another way of trying to compensate. So bulimia a person typically is normal weight or there abouts, and then binge-eating disorder, which again is sort of like bulimia except minus the compensatory behavior. You have the binge eating a lot of food in a limited period of time, often could be repeatedly during the course of the day, but because there is no compensatory behavior they gain weight.

A significant number of people who are morbidly obese are binge eaters because they just eat and eat, and put they weight on.