Dispelling ED Myths

9 truths about eating disorders!

Truth #1

Many people with eating disorders look healthy yet may be extremely ill.

Truth #2

Families are not to blame and can be patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.

Truth #3

An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Truth #4

Eating disorders are not choices, but seriously biologically influenced illnesses.

Truth #5

Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Truth #6

Eating disorders carry an increased risk for suicide and medical complications.

Truth #7

Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.

Truth #8

Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.

Truth #9

Full recover from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is the deadliest of all mental health disorders. There are 2 types of anorexia: 1) the restrictive type and 2) the purging type. The Restrictive type will lose weight through strict diets, fasting, and excessive exercise, whereas the Purging type will lose weight through the use of laxatives, diet pills or other diuretics.


Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by episodes of binging and purging (i.e. eating large amount in a short space of time followed by self-induced vomiting) as a way to control weight gain. The use of laxatives and diuretics are common.


Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder characterized by excessive eating in a short space of time even when not hungry. However, binging episodes do not follow with purging (i.e. self induced vomiting), nor are laxatives or diuretics used.


Orthorexia Nervosa

Orthorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which an unhealthy obsession about consuming only healthy foods develops.


Night Eating Syndrome

Night eating syndrome, also called “midnight hunger”, is characterized by a persistent and on-going pattern of late-night binge eating.



Individuals with bigorexia (also referred to as muscle dysmorphia, reverse anorexia and/or adonis complex) develop an obsession with their muscularity believing themselves to be too weak and small no matter how big their muscles are.