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What Is Disordered Eating?

Learn what disordered eating is from Allegra Broft, M.D. in this Howcast video.


I guess in simple terms disordered eating is just that. Eating that's problematic. And that could really mean a variety of different things.

So, some people ask the question, "I have disordered eating. Does that mean I have an eating disorder?" And the answer to that question is no or at least not necessarily.

So, what could be some examples of disordered eating? Disordered eating might be sort of application of a set of rules to ones eating pattern in order to be able to control or regulate it in a certain way that's a little bit rigid or, you know, outside of sort of the the norm of just "Hey, I'm sitting down and just having my breakfast, lunch and dinner without thinking about it too much."

Disordered eating of course can refer to some of the more formal eating disorder diagnoses or symptoms. Things like binge eating and purging are all variants of disordered eating.

So, disordered eating encompasses really a whole spectrum of eating attitudes and behaviors that have the potential for causing significant distress to the person that's engaging in them.

So, in conclusion disordered eating can really just refer to any type of eating tendency or eating problem that feels sort of beyond the norm of sort of eating for hunger.

And when eating starts to go awry, when it starts to not become a generally pleasurable experience there may be something disordered in the eating that's affecting how that feels.

So, discussing that with a professional is a great step if you're wondering if you have some type of eating problem or wondering like "Does this eating seem quite right." Maybe there's something disordered going on with eating.

Exploring that with a therapist can clarify if there really is an issue. Whether it's a variance of normal eating and can help you feel more comfortable with the types of eating decisions that you're making.

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