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Signs & Symptoms of an Eating Disorder

Signs and symptoms of an eating disorder may include: 

  • Dieting, Fasting, Skipping meals
  • Reducing portions
  • Avoiding certain food groups (fat, protein, carbs)
  • Reading food labels, counting calories
  • Dislike of foods that use to be enjoyed
  • Avoiding eating in front of others
  • Avoiding situations that may involve eating
  • Ritualistic or odd food behaviors (counting bites, chewing food  a certain number of times, having to eat at certain times, arranging and eating foods in certain order)
  • Chewing food and spitting it out
  • Preoccupation with food (e.g., cooking a lot but not eating the food, reading cookbooks, watching food shows on T.V)
  • Excessive exercise to get rid of calories
  • Evidence of Bingeing (large amounts of food missing; empty boxes, cans, food packages)
  • Signs of purging (soiled toilet, use of bathroom after eating, running water while using bathroom)
  • Weight loss or extensive focus on trying to lose weight
  • Excessive fears of becoming fat
  • Wearing baggy clothing
  • Excessive concern about size of clothing (wants to wear certain size)
  • Excessive viewing of body in reflective surfaces or avoidance of viewing self in reflective surfaces
  • Extreme dislike/criticism of all or some body parts

Informative websites for patients and families: