Eating Disorders

What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders arise in a host of forms and are categorised by a number of phrases, yet the majority stem around when an individual has an unhealthy relationship or attitude towards food and exercise. This can be a total avoidance of food and drink, disproportional levels of intake compared to the typical or recommended daily intake, or even the actions of an individual once they have had a meal.

The most common types of eating disorders include: 

  • Anorexia nervosa.
  • Bulimia.
  • Binge eating disorder.
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is another eating disorder that occurs mainly in children.

All eating disorders can occur in both males and females of any age.

Some things that may make you more at risk of developing an eating disorder are:​

  • Having feelings of low self-esteem or worthlessness.
  • Participating in activities in which body image is a concern (e.g. dancing, gymnastics or modelling).
  • Having a history of strict dieting and body dissatisfaction.
  • Having lived in an environment in which leanness or obesity has been a concern.
  • Experiencing depression or loneliness.
  • Being a perfectionist, or impulsive, or having difficulty managing emotions.
  • Experiencing stressful life changes (e.g. leaving home to go to university, a relationship breakup or the physical bodily changes of puberty).
  • Having experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse.


Beat are a leading charity within the United Kingdom which specialise in all aspects of eating disorders. From the definitions of certain terms and phrases, to advice on help and what support exists for those who are suffering from such a disorder. The charity acknowledges themselves as a "champion, guide and friend to anyone affected". 

The work that is carried out by Beat provides a platform for anyone who feels that they are suffering from such a disorder, with members of the team offering knowledge and guidance which has accumulated since their formation in 1989. The NHS recognise the work that Beat carry out, and actively encourage those who visit their own website, to contact Beat for assistance and guidance.

The website provides specially designed avenues for those seeking help, with sculpted pages for adults, children, those within education, as well as pages for individuals who are concerned with the well-being of a friend, family member or colleague. 

To find out more about key terms, press releases, but more importantly the help that Beat can offer those who are suffering from an eating disorder, please visit their website


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