What is Disordered Eating?

In our North American culture, there is a high emphasis that is placed on how we look and our physical appearance. This is one reason that many people have developed a disordered relationship with their looks, food, and exercise. According to some statistics, roughly 50% of our population suffers from some disordered relationship with food. Despite popular opinion, this is not something that only females struggle with, and males account for a large number of cases. This can mean frequent diets, guilt and shame associated with eating, or using exercise as punishment for overeating.  

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Disordered Eating vs Eating Disorder

Although they are related, disordered eating is different than an eating disorder. While disordered eating refers to the relationship that one has with food, and eating disorder occurs when that disordered relationship causes significant enough distress for a person that it interferes with their regular functioning. As with many psychosocial disorders, eating disorders can have a negative impact on your physical health. If you or your family members think you may be experiencing an eating disorder, Freedom Counselling recommends talking to your family doctor.

What Does Disordered Eating Treatment Look Like?

Disordered eating can be influenced by psychological, biological, and environmental factors. Therefore, it is important that the treatment of this is also comprehensive. In particular, counselling, psychotherapy, and medications have shown promise with eating disorders. With disordered eating, it may be that counselling alone can be enough.

Helpful Links

Government of British Columbia

This provincial web page gives helpful information for those struggling with body image or eating disorders. To learn more follow this link.

National Eating Disorder Information Center (NEDIC)

NEDIC provides information and support to Canadians who are affected by eating disorders. For more information, alongside information for their helpline, click here.

Health Essentials

As part of the website provided by the Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials offers a guide to symptoms of disordered eating, and gives you some options for next steps. To learn more follow this link.

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