The DSM-5 divides eating disorders into three main categories: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). They have also recently added pica, rummination, and avoidance/restrictive intake (ARFID). 


Anorexia is the fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. It is characterized by a restrictive pattern that leads to an excess amount of weight loss, however, people with a healthy weight can still suffer from anorexia. This pattern can be followed by vomiting/exercising to counteract a small food intake. In addition, anorexia causes the individual to not eat enough, literally starve themselves; and provokes them to see themselves as fat. 


Bulimia is similar to anorexia, in terms of the fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. Individuals with bulimia have moments where they consume large amounts of food several times a day or week. They can consume thousands of calories, more than the recommended amount, and then purge as soon as possible by laxatives, diuretics, enemas, fasting, over-exercising or vomiting. 

Compulsive Eating/ Binge Eating Disorder

Binging disorder is characterized by the urgent need to eat out of control in the response of being anxious, this state of anxiety decreases during the binge but increases once the binge is finished. However, people with binge eating disorders can consumer over a thousand calories. The individuals do not purge their bodies of excessive calories; thus provoking many people with this disorder be overweight or obese. They undergo feelings of guilt, shame, and stress constantly which leads them to another binge episode. Individuals claim their body image feelings become more bearable once they chose to binge. 

Pica is an eating disorder that consists of an individual eating items that are not typically consumed as food and that does not contain a significant nutritional value, such as hair, dirt, and paint chips. 



Rumination disorder usually occurs in an infant or young child. The individual brings back up or re-chews partially digested food that has already been consumed and swallowed. If the food is re-chewed, it will typically be swallowed again, but occasionally, the person will spit it out. When someone regurgitates their food, they seem to not be making an effort nor do they do they undergo stress; they appear to be upset or disgusted.

ARFID affects mainly people in childhood or infancy, but it can also affect adults. It involves a person having some type of issue with certain food or foods, which results in them not receiving adequate nutrition; provoking weight loss. Problems can range from Individuals having trouble digesting food to avoiding particular types, textures or colors of food, or they can fear eating due to being afraid of choking or vomiting. 

Avoidance/ Restrictive Intake

Additional Eating Disorders that are recognized in the DSM-IV:  

Other Specified Eating Disorder, also known as OSFED, is a feeding or eating disorder that causes an immense amount of distress or impairment but does not reach the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder.

Other Specified Eating Disorder

Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorder, also known as UFED, applies to presentations in which symptoms related to a feeding and eating disorder cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other major events. It does not reach the full criteria for any type of disorders in the feeding and eating disorders diagnostic class, causing it to be labeled as "unspecified." 

Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorder: 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder referred to as BDD, is a mental disorder in which an individual is constantly thinking about one or more flaws in their appearance — a flaw that, to others, is either minor or not visible. However, they may feel so anxious and embarrassed that they may avoid many social situations. This causes them to constantly groom, check the mirror, or seek cosmetic procedures.  

Body dysmorphic Disorder:  

Additional Eating Disorders that are recognized in the DSM-IV:

Diabulimia is when an individual purposely decreases the use of insulin intake to lose weight.  Diabulimia is labeled as a dual diagnosis disorder: where one has diabetes as well as an eating disorder.  While diabulimia is mainly associated with the use of insulin, an individual with diabetes is also at risk of suffering from an eating disorder.


Muscle dysmorphia is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that is a subcategory of body dysmorphic disorder.  The disorder becomes an obsession with the level of muscularity and leanness. The compulsion is to reach the desired levels of muscularity and leanness. An excessive amount of supplements can also be used to enhance the body.

Bigorexia/Muscle Dysphorma

An individual with Night Eating Syndrome (NES) has problems falling asleep or staying asleep, every time they wake up they typically immediately eat.  The person delays there first meal after several hours of waking up; they eat more food after dinner than in a meal. Unlike a binge, NES involves constantly eating throughout evening hours. 

Night-Eating Syndrome: 

Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder (NS-RED)  occurs while an individual is sleepwalking. People with this disorder consume food while they are asleep. They constantly walk into the kitchen and prepare food without remembering that they did. If NS-RED occurs frequently, a person can undergo weight gain and increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder:

Orthorexia is the obsession of restricting certain foods or ingredients that are labeled unhealthy, unclean, or unwholesome (ex: animal proteins or carbohydrates.) Unlike anorexia, for orthorexics, the quality instead of the quantity of food is restricted.