Eating Disorder Descriptions

According to the DSMV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders), eating and feeding disorders are characterized and defined as followed:

Eating Disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health.
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
  • Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
  • Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating characterized by BOTH of the following:
  • ° Eating in a discrete amount of time (within a 2 hour period) large amounts of food.
    ° Sense of lack of control over eating during an episode.
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain (purging).
  • The binge eating and compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.
  • The disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia nervosa.
  • Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
  • ° eating, in a discrete period of time (for example, within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
    ° a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)
  • The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
  • ° eating much more rapidly than normal
    ° eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    ° eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
    ° eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
    ° feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterwards
  • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  • The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (for example, purging) and does not occur exclusively during the course Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, or Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.
  • Feeding Disorders:
    Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
    Rumination Disorder

    OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders: characterized as disturbances in eating behavior that do not necessarily fall into the specific category of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder.

  • Atypical Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration)
  • Binge-eating Disorder (of low frequency and/or limited duration)
  • Purging Disorder
  • Night Eating Syndrome
  • Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder (UFED)

  • This category applies to where behaviors cause clinically significant distress/impairment of functioning, but do not meet the full criteria of any of the Feeding or Eating Disorder criteria.
  • Disclaimer:
    Information presented on this page is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical care, advice, and treatment. If you have or suspect you or a loved one has an eating disorder, please contact a trained health care provider for proper diagnosis and support.