Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that involve disordered eating behaviour. This might mean limiting the amount of food eaten, eating very large quantities of food at once, getting rid of food eaten through unhealthy means (e.g. purging, laxative misuse, fasting, or excessive exercise), or a combination of these behaviours.
It’s important to remember that eating disorders are not all about food itself, but about feelings. The way the person interacts with food may make them feel more able to cope, or may make them feel in control.
- Approximately 1.25 Million people in the UK have an eating disorder*
- Around 25% of those are male*
- Recent research from the NHS information centre showed that up to 6.4% of adults displayed signs of an eating disorder*
*BEAT - Statistics for Journalists, sourced 02/02/2020