Disordered eating is when a person regularly engages in destructive eating behaviours such as restrictive dieting, compulsive eating or skipping meals. Disordered eating can include behaviours which reflect many but not all of the symptoms of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS).
Disordered eating and dieting behaviour are the most common indicators of the development of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are severe and life-threatening mental illnesses. An eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice.
Disordered eating can have a destructive impact upon a person’s life and has been linked to a reduced ability to cope with stressful situations. There is also increased incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviours in adolescents with disordered eating.
Examples of disordered eating include:
- Fasting or chronic restrained eating.
- Skipping meals.<