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Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are mental illnesses that cause problems in food and activity patterns, such as eating very small amounts of food or binge eating. People  may over-exercise or try to get rid of food by vomiting, using laxatives or diet pills . Eating disorders can lead to life-threatening physical and emotional problems, in spite of a person’s weight. Even someone who looks to be at a healthy weight can have a harmful eating disorder. People living with eating disorders may also have other mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse.

The main types of eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder

If you or a family member is living with an eating disorder

Treatment is best provided by a team of health care professionals. Treatment is tailored to individual needs and along with medical care, may include:

  • Individual or group therapy
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Medications

Parents and caregivers can be a powerful support for a loved one’s recovery. With family receiving guidance from a treatment team, people can recover as an outpatient, but some may require a stay in hospital.

Nutrition to Keep You Healthy

Food is medicine. All treatment plans should include ongoing nutrition therapy. Achieving one’s natural weight or pattern of growth and returning to a normal eating pattern are vital for recovery. Nutrition plans focus on restoring structure (regular meals and snacks), variety, moderation and enjoyment in eating. All foods can fit into a healthy, enjoyable eating pattern.

Eating Disorder Supports & Resources:

To learn more:

 National Eating Disorder Information Centre 

National Institute of Mental Health-Eating Disorders

Fast Facts on Eating Disorders

In your community:

It is important to seek help if you or a loved one (child or adult) has an eating disorder. Sadly many people with eating disorders resist treatment. A family doctor can send a referral to skilled mental health professionals

Adult Eating Disorder Program

Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program

Women's Health Clinic


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