An eating disorder is a serious mental illness, characterised by eating, exercise and body weight or shape becoming an unhealthy preoccupation of someone's life.
The symptoms for eating disorders also present differently for each individual, which makes self-diagnosis or diagnosis without a professional’s input extremely difficult and potentially dangerous.
Find out the latest statistics and research on issues relating to eating disorders.
Download fact sheets from Eating Disorders Victoria and other organisations on eating disorders, mental health and self-care.
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by low body weight and body image distortion with an obsessive fear of gaining weight.
Bulimia nervosa is characterised by the consumption of abnormally large amounts of food, immediately followed by self-induced vomiting, fasting, over-exercising and/or the misuse of laxatives, enemas or diuretics.
Binge eating disorder is a psychological illness characterised by frequently eating excessive amounts of food, often when not hungry.
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a serious mental illness where a person avoids or only eats small amounts of certain foods based on factors such as their appearance, food group, texture, smell or past experience.
Other eating disorders helps to recognise and categorise conditions that do not more accurately fit into anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.
Disordered eating refers to a wide range of abnormal eating behaviours, many of which are shared with diagnosed eating disorders. The main thing differentiating “disordered eating” from an “eating disorder” is the level of severity and frequency of behaviours.
Research indicates that up to 25% of people experiencing an eating disorder are male. However, many experts believe that the number could be much higher, as the stigma surrounding eating disorders in men prevent many from seeking help.
Exploring the relationship between eating disorders and other health conditions, such as drug and alcohol addiction, diabetes, anxiety and depression, and the autism spectrum.
Eating disorders can occur at any time: in childhood, during the teen years, during pregnancy and later in life.
To my body, thank you for not giving up on me. You’re the only one I have to take me through the journey of life. The only vehicle to connect my soul to the world, to touch, taste and smell the flavours of life. I promise to care and nurture you.Read Elise's story
I get very angry and upset about my eating disorder: what it did to me, what it took from me. It put so much strain on my body and brain and I lost so much time and freedom, having to spend so long in hospital.Read Lauren's story