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Eating disorders

It is a common misconception that eating problems (or disorders) are the preserve of the young female. In fact, eating problems can happen regardless of gender, social, economic or ethnic background.

For example, food may be used as a control mechanism in a life that has become hectic, unhappy or out of control in some way. However, the causes of eating problems vary widely. Although very serious and classed as a mental health issue, eating disorders can be successfully treated. There are three main types of eating problem; Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa and Binge eating.

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There are a range of organisations which can help with specific issues. Click here for some advice on seeking help and for a list of organisations and their contact details. Support

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia occurs when a person does not allow themselves access to food which provides the required energy and nutrition for a healthy life. This condition is not always connected to dieting behaviour and may be rooted in deep seated feelings of self-hatred or low self-esteem.

Bulimia nervosa

This condition is characterised by behaviour which includes binge eating (eating large amounts of food at one sitting) frequently followed by purging (getting rid of the food just eaten). Weight loss or gain is not noticeable and therefore the condition can go on for many months or years without loved ones or work colleagues being aware.

Binge eating


Binge eating is eating large amounts of food at one sitting.

What can I do about my eating problem?

Firstly, seek out and talk to people you can trust. An eating problem may be something you have lived with and ‘managed’ for years without anyone being aware of it, even your close friends or work colleagues. They may be shocked, surprised and worried for you so be aware and prepared for this.

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There are many routes of support and recovery, don’t feel that you must approach this alone. You may like to approach some of the public peer to peer support forums available to discuss your issues and meet others who have experienced the same challenges. Peer support groups can be online or face to face.

Where can I find out more?

You can find out more about tackling and beating eating disorders by contacting:

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