Disordered eating

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This article is about abnormal patterns of eating. For clinical eating disorders, see Eating disorders.

Disordered eating describes a variety of abnormal eating behaviors that, by themselves, do not warrant diagnosis of an eating disorder.

Disordered eating includes behaviors that are common features of eating disorders, such as:

  • Chronic restrained eating.[1]
  • Compulsive eating.[1]
  • Binge eating, with associated loss of control.
  • Self-induced vomiting.[2]

Disordered eating also includes behaviors that are not characteristic of any eating disorder, such as:

Disordered eating can represent a change in eating patterns caused by other mental disorders (e.g. clinical depression), or by factors that are generally considered to be unrelated to mental disorders (e.g. extreme homesickness).

Certain factors among adolescents tend to be associated with disordered eating, including body mass index, negative affect (mood), self-esteem, perfectionism, drug use, perceived pressure to lose weight from parents and peers, and participation in sports that focus on leanness. These factors are similar among boys and girls alike.[2]

Disordered eating among athletes, particularly female athletes, has been the subject of much research. In one study, women with disordered eating were 3.6 times as likely to have an eating disorder if they were athletes. Disordered eating, along with amenorrhea and bone demineralization, form what clinicians refer to as the female athletic triad, or FAT.[6] In contribution to these eating disorders that these female athletes develop, Results in the lack of nutrition. This can lead to the loss of several or more consecutive periods which then leads to calcium and bone loss, putting the athlete at great risk of fracturing bones and damaging tissues. Each of these conditions is a medical concern as they create serious health risks that may be life threatening to the individual. While any female athlete can develop the triad, adolescent girls are considered most at risk because of the active biological changes and growth spurts that they experience, peer and social pressures, and rapidly changing life circumstances that are observed within the teenage years.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Definitions". nedic.ca. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Ricciardelli, Lina A.; McCabe, Marita P. (March 2004). "A Biopsychosocial Model of Disordered Eating and the Pursuit of Muscularity in Adolescent Boys.". Psychological Bulletin. 130 (2): 179–205. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.130.2.179. 
  3. ^ Jones, Jennifer M.; Susan, Bennett; Olmsted, Marion P.; Lawson, Margaret L.; Rodin, Gary (September 4, 2001). "Disordered eating attitudes and behaviours in teenaged girls: a school-based study" (PDF). CMAJ. 165 (5): 547–552. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Quick, Virginia M.; Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne (May 2013). "Chronic Illness and Disordered Eating: A Discussion of the Literature" (PDF). Advances in Nutrition. 4 (3): 277–286. doi:10.3945/an.112.003608. PMC 3650496Freely accessible. PMID 23674793. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Boggiano, MM; Turan, B; Maldonado, CR; Oswald, KD; Shuman, ES (April 2013). "Secretive food concocting in binge eating: test of a famine hypothesis". The International Journal of Eating Disorders. 46 (3): 212–225. doi:10.1002/eat.22077. PMC 5098405Freely accessible. PMID 23255044.  The article calls secretive food concocting a "chaotic eating habit". A lay summary is also available.
  6. ^ Morgado de Oliveira Coelho, Gabriela; Innocencio da Silva Gomes, Ainá; Gonçalves Ribeiro, Beatriz; de Abreu Soares, Eliane (May 12, 2014). "Prevention of eating disorders in female athletes". Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. 5: 105–113. doi:10.2147/OAJSM.S36528. PMC 4026548Freely accessible. PMID 24891817. 
  7. ^ "Athletes and Eating Disorders". National Eating Disorders Association. Retrieved 2016-11-24.