13 Different Types of Eating Disorders

There are a variety of different types of eating disorders. An eating disorder is usually associated with unusual eating behaviors that negatively impact health.

In this article, we’re exploring the many different types of eating disorders as well as the benefits of eating disorder treatment.

Different Types of Eating Disorders

Nine percent, or nearly 30 million, people suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Even more alarming is that one person will die from an eating disorder every 52 minutes, according to statistics.

The most talked-about eating disorder types are anorexia and bulimia. What you may not know is that other, less common disorders are just as dangerous.

Knowing the truth about eating disorders can help you recognize how important it is to get help if you are struggling or know someone who is struggling. All eating disorders can affect both males and females.

Here are 13 different types of eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which someone restricts the amount of food or calories they consume each day. They are also hindering the body from receiving necessary vitamins and nutrients, which will lead to organ failure.

Symptoms of anorexia include appearing frail, thin, and underweight. Bones, hair, and nails are weak and may break easily. Some may even appear to have a yellowish skin tone.

Other symptoms include being weak, tired, lowered blood pressure and body temperature, and missed periods for girls.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is best known for two actions: bingeing on food, then purging the food to avoid intaking calories. Symptoms include constant sore throats, swollen glands, tooth decay, heartburn, pain in the digestive system, and dehydration.

Binge-Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder is on the rise. It consists of someone overeating foods that are high in sugar and fats, junk food. Someone with this disorder eats and eats until they feel sick. They may sneak food or hide food they can eat when not around others. They often eat even when they are not hungry.

This eating disorder leads to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.


Eating healthy is a goal for most people. But for someone with orthorexia, it is an unhealthy obsession. Thoughts about eating healthy are constant, leading to compulsive behaviors. Someone with this disorder may spend most of their time talking about healthy eating, searching for healthy foods, and taking a lot of time to read nutrition labels.

While this type of eating disorder is not as common as the ones above, it is on the rise.

Muscle Dysmorphia

Another eating disorder on the rise is muscle dysmorphia. Someone with this disorder will have an obsession with how their muscles appear. They do whatever they can to make their muscles more sculpted and more perfect in their viewpoint.

OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder)

Anytime you read the words “other specified,” you can know that this refers to a type of eating disorder that does not fall into any other categories. This diagnosis recognizes that not every person is the same and that there is no one-size-fits-all eating disorder.

Compulsive Overeating

Someone with compulsive overeating finds themselves in a constant state of wanting to eat all day, even when they are not hungry. They can’t control their urges to eat, which come often and can be overwhelming. Routine daily functions are often interrupted by this eating disorder. It can be disabling for some.

Prader Willi Syndrome

The Prader Willi Syndrome is a type of eating disorder caused by inherited genetic disease. It often starts in childhood, and the main symptom is an intense, uncontrollable hunger. Because children feel a constant need to eat, they can become overweight, leading to health-related problems. They also may have difficulty finishing school assignments and fitting in with peers.

Pregnancy Anorexia

Pregnancy anorexia, or pregorexia, happens to women who become obsessed with gaining weight during pregnancy. While there should be some concern over weight gain during pregnancy, like to avoid gestational diabetes, there must also be concern over not gaining weight. Simply because if you are not getting the food and nutrition you need, neither is your baby.

Alcoholism Anorexia

This is another eating disorder with a funny-sounding technical name, drunkorexia, which means you are both an alcoholic and anorexic. Someone with this order has a set amount of calories they want to intake each day, including the calories they consume through drinking alcohol.

To stay within their calorie restrictions, they will purge any foods they eat. This allows them to get calories from the alcohol. They do not consider eliminating alcohol as an option.


The “dia” refers to people with diabetes. Diabulimia is a type of eating disorder among Type 1 diabetics. To lose weight, a person with diabetes will manipulate their prescribed dose of insulin. Some may reduce the amount of insulin they take, while others may stop taking it altogether. Reports claim an estimated 40% of Type 1 diabetics engage in some form of diabulimia.

Avoidant/ Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

This type of eating disorder is often referred to as selective eating disorder. Someone struggling with this disorder is extremely picky of the foods they consume. They may have a shortlist of foods they will allow themselves to eat. If they are asked to try new foods, not on their list, they become distressed.

They may limit foods based on texture, color, preparation methods, or any other reason that makes sense to them.

Night Eating Syndrome

If you find yourself consuming the majority of your calories at night, specifically after your evening meal, then you may have night eating syndrome. Someone with this type of eating disorder may even feel compelled to eat each time they wake up during the night.


There are a variety of different types of eating disorders, many of which may be accompanied by other medical or mental health conditions.

A licensed professional can help guide you toward the best eating disorder treatment for your needs, so you can overcome an eating disorder and go on to lead a healthy, happy, long life.

The local mental health center is the first place to seek help for yourself or someone you love who struggles with abnormal eating.