Eating disorders

Sometimes people can have worries about their weight and want to be thinner; some of these people may not be overweight in the first place.

However being very overweight or obese can cause problems, particularly with health. Quite often someone who is overweight can lose weight simply by eating more healthily, but some might try to lose weight through dieting or skipping meals. For some, worries about weight become an obsession. There is a risk that this can turn into a serious eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Worries about weight, shape and eating are common, especially among young girls and it can be difficult to notice the difference between someone having an eating disorder and ordinary dieting.  Some of the signs of eating disorders are listed below but if you are concerned about yourself or someone you know contact your GP.


This is characterised by:

  • fear of fatness
  • under eating
  • excessive loss of weight
  • vigorous exercise, possibly in secret


This is characterised by:

  • fear of fatness
  • binge eating
  • normal weight but with regular weight fluctuation
  • vomiting and/or excessive use of laxatives

Where to find out more

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