Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
Eating disorders affect at least 9% of the population worldwide and can occur in all body shapes and sizes. Eating disorders and disordered eating are actually different from one another. An eating disorder is a clinical diagnosis, whereas disordered eating is not.
Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), night eating syndrome, and others. Eating disorders are diagnosed using the DSM-5.
Disordered eating is a broad definition which includes a disordered relationship with food and exercise. Examples of disordered eating include the following: eating only foods regarded as “healthy,” restricting food even if hungry, compensating for food intake through intense exercise, skipping meals, cutting out certain food groups or following fad diets in pursuit of weight loss (this is not a complete list, you may also have other symptoms of disordered eating you are experiencing). Dietitians can help to support you with both a diagnosed eating disorder and disordered eating.
What you need to know before choosing a Dietitian:
You do not need an eating disorder diagnosis to work with a Dietitian. It’s important to know that not all Dietitians have the additional training and experience required to help clients experiencing an eating disorder(s) or disordered eating.
We recommend you search for a Dietitian who focuses specifically in this area, who may have taken additional training, and/or have experience working with patients with eating disorders and disordered eating. Registered Dietitians who work in this area may have the Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) credential.
What to expect when working with a Dietitian:
Recovery from an eating disorder and disordered eating is possible, and it may be a multi-year process. Therefore, choose a Dietitian with expertise in eating disorders/disordered eating you feel you connect with (personality, values, philosophy, etc.) and make sure to learn more about your Dietitian’s approach to working with clients by requesting more information on their personal profile page.
Talking with a Dietitian who focuses in this practice area may help you improve your relationship with food, eat regular meals, fuel your body all day, find peace in the kitchen, and enjoy social gatherings centered around food. Eating disorders and disordered eating can impact your life and wellbeing. It’s important to know that you deserve to receive support and Dietitians are an important part of your recovery team.