Lots of young people worry about how they look, their body and their weight. However, sometimes this can start to take over day-to-day life. Common eating disorders include:
- Anorexia nervosa: people diagnosed with anorexia have an intense fear of being fat and tend to go to great lengths to avoid eating fattening foods and to lose weight, including exercising too much and making themselves sick. This is usually because they feel they are too fat, even when they look very thin to other people.
- Binge eating disorder (BED): people diagnosed with BED may eat large amounts of food in a short period of time (perhaps not at a normal meal time and often while alone) and feel a lack of control during these binges. However, unlike someone with bulimia (see below), the person does not try to get rid of the food. They may feel their eating is out of control, eat an unusually large amount of food, eat more quickly in binges, eat until uncomfortably full or eat large amounts of food when they are not hungry.
- Bulimia nervosa: people diagnosed with bulimia binge (eat a lot) and then purge (get rid of it) by vomiting, fasting, using laxatives or over-exercising in order to stop gaining weight.
Our Community Eating Disorders Service for Children and Young People offers help and support to children and young people aged 17 and under living in Central and North London who have a suspected or confirmed eating disorder diagnosis. This includes children and young people who are seeking advice, consultation and support.
Beat is a charity that provides information about and support for people with eating disorders
A free and confidential support service for children and young people (telephone 0800 1111)