What is an eating disorder?

Food is a part of life – it keeps us alive, and often we enjoy eating it too. But sometimes people use food in ways that don’t just keep them alive or make them happy. Eating disorders happen when someone has an unhealthy relationship with food. Someone might have an eating disorder if they…

Eat too little. When someone has anorexia nervosa, they stop eating or eat very little. They often believe they are fat (usually they’re not) and they are obsessed with losing weight. They might also exercise a lot to try to lose weight. If anorexia gets very serious, the person can get very thin and starve to death, or die of a heart attack.

Eat too much. Binge eating disorder is when someone eats huge amounts of food at a time, and they feel out of control, ashamed and guilty about it.

Binge and purge. People who have bulimia nervosa will eat a lot at a time, just like people with binge eating disorder. But then they will do something to try to make up for it, and stop themselves from gaining weight. Usually what they do is unhealthy, like vomiting, using laxatives, exercising really hard, or not eating for a long time.

There are other kinds of eating disorders too. Something might be an eating disorder if it makes the person really unhappy or stressed, and if it affects their emotions, school and relationships with other people.

Eating disorders can be very harmful to your health, and can even put your life at risk. If you think you or someone you know might have an eating disorder, speak to the person, and to a trusted adult, about it. A psychologist or counsellor can help. Check out our article “What is anorexia nervosa?” for more. 

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B-Wise User Mologadi Monoge 12 March 2019 08:52

There are days where I feel like eating the whole elephant,i eat a lot but I don't get full,what could be the reason??and how do I stop this

B-Wise Expert Expert 1 April 2019 14:46

Hi, thank you for your question. It is possible that you may be stress eating or you are not eating enough. You can read this article for more information on how you can eat healthy Eat well to stay well: Healthy food, healthy life