About Eating Disorders

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is a complex psychological illness and is often used as a way of coping and dealing with difficult emotions or situations.
The individual may behave in the following ways:

– Restriction

– Self induced vomiting

– Laxative Abuse

– Over exercise

– Bingeing

– Emotional overeating


* Please note this isn’t a extensive list of all behaviour types.


– Over 725,000 men and women in the UK are affected by an eating disorder. (BEAT, 2015 and The Costs of Eating Disorders in the Social, Health and Economic Impacts report, February 2015)
– In the period between February 2015 to January 2016 there were a total of 2,703 finished admission episodes (FAEs) for an eating disorder. (Health and Social Care Information Centre, March 2016)
– The rate of development of new cases of eating disorders has been increasing since 1950 (Hudson et al., 2007; Streigel-Moore &Franko, 2003; Wade et al., 2011)
– Around 1 in 250 women and 1 in 2,000 men will experience anorexia nervosa at some point. The condition usually develops around the age of 16 or 17. (NHS Choices, 2015)
– Bulimia is around two to three times more common than anorexia nervosa, and 90% of people with the condition are female. It usually develops around the age of 18 or 19. (NHS Choices, 2015)
– Binge eating affects males and females equally and usually appears later in life, between the ages of 30 and 40. As it’s difficult to precisely define binge eating, it’s not clear how widespread it is, but it’s estimated to affect around 5% of the adult population. (NHS Choices, 2015)


An Eating Disorder is NOT:
– A ‘phase’
– Attention seeking behaviour
– All about thinness
– Just a female problem
– A problem that only affects young people