An eating disorder is an unhealthy relationship with food and weight that interferes with many areas of a person’s life. One’s thoughts become preoccupied with food, weight or exercise. A person who struggles with an eating disorder can have unrealistic self-critical thoughts about body image, and his or her eating habits may begin to disrupt normal body functions and affect daily activities. Eating disorders are not just about food and weight. People begin to use food as a coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable or painful emotions or to help them feel more in control when feelings or situations seem over-whelming. There are three main eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.

There are physical and psychological indicators of eating disorders. Depending on the disorder, some include:
 • Preoccupation with food, weight, and body
 • Unrelenting fear of gaining weight 
• Refusal to eat except for tiny portions 
• Dehydration 
• Compulsive exercise 
• Excessive fine hair on face and body 
• Distorted body image 
• Abnormal weight loss 
• Sensitivity to cold 
• Absent menstruation 
• Rapid consumption of a large amount of food 
• Eating alone or in secret 
• Abuse of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, or emetics 
• Depression 
• Shame and guilt 
• Withdrawal