Academy for Eating Disorders (AED)

Located in Deerfield, Illinois, the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) strives for both education and practicality as it grows along with the number of eating disorder cases it sees every year.

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Advocacy and understanding are the foundations of this well respected academy. AED is a global, multidisciplinary professional organization that provides cutting- edge professional training and education; inspires new developments in eating disorders research, prevention, and clinical treatments; and is the international source for state- of- the- art information in the field of eating disorders.
111 Deer Lake Road, Suite 100
Deerfield, IL 60015 USA
Telephone: (847) 498- 4274
Fax: (847) 480- 9282
On Facebook: Academy for Eating Disorders and Twitter @aedweb

Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)

The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) was founded to help those who have BED, their friends and family, and those who treat the disorder.

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BEDA provides the individuals who suffer from BED the recognition and resources they deserve to begin a safe journey toward a healthy recovery. BEDA also serves as a resource for providers of all kinds to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disorder. By establishing strong connections among members and sister organizations, BEDA’s goal is to give everyone access to the tools they need to live with, treat, and, ultimately, prevent the disorder.
637 Emerson Place
Severna Park, MD 21146, USA
Telephone: (855) 855- BEDA (2332)
Fax: (410) 741- 3037
On Facebook: Binge Eating Disorder Association and Twitter @BEDAorg

Eating Disorders Coalition

The Eating Disorders Coalition’s mission is “. . . to advance the federal recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority.”

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This is the group that lobbies on Capitol Hill in order to improve funding for research about, treatment of, and education on eating disorders. They also work toward better insurance coverage and the recognition of eating disorders as serious illnesses worthy of adequate insurance coverage.
720 7th Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20001, USA
Telephone: (202) 543- 9570
On Facebook: Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action

Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders (F.E.A.S.T.)

F.E.A.S.T. is an international organization of and for parents and caregivers to help loved ones recover from eating disorders by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence- based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders.

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P.O. Box 331
Warrenton, VA 20188 USA
Telephone: (540) 227- 8518
Skype name: F.E.A.S.T.
On Facebook: F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered And Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders) and Twitter @FEASTtweets

Health at Every Size (HAES)

HAES is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control).

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National Association for Males with Eating Disorders (N.A.M.E.D.)

N.A.M.E.D. provides support to and resources about men with eating disorders.
Christopher Clark
Executive Director
Naples, FL 34112
Telephone: (877) 780- 0080 toll- free or (239) 775- 1145
On Facebook: The National Association for Males with Eating Disorders, Inc. (N.A.M.E.D.)

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest not-for-profit organization in the United States working to prevent eating disorders and provide treatment referrals to those suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and BED and those concerned with body image and weight issues.

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NEDA sponsors National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which takes place every year in February.
165 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036 USA
Telephone: 1 (800) 931- 2237 toll- free or (212) 575- 6200
Fax: (212) 575- 1650
On Facebook: National Eating Disorders Association and Twitter @NEDAstaff

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Long recognized as a “go- to source” for all things mental health, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers a wide variety of information and services for those in need.

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The NIMH provides information to help people better understand mental health, mental disorders, and behavioral problems. NIMH does not provide referrals to mental health professionals or treatment for mental health problems.
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892- 9663 USA
Telephone: 1 (866) 615- 6464 toll- free or (301) 443- 4513
Fax: (301) 443- 4279
On Facebook: National Institute of Mental Health and Twitter @NIMHgov

The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University is a nonprofit research and public policy organization devoted to improving the world’s diet, preventing obesity, and reducing weight stigma.

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Their resource-rich website includes reports, newsletters, informational videos, and podcasts to help families with all aspects of food and nutrition.
309 Edwards Street
New Haven, CT 06511 USA
Telephone: (203) 432- 6700
Fax: (203) 432- 9674
On Facebook: Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and Twitter @YaleRuddCenter

Beating Eating Disorders (BEAT) (United Kingdom)

BEAT provides help lines, online support and a network of UK-wide self-help groups to help adults and young people in the United Kingdom beat their eating disorders.

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Wensum House
103 Prince of Wales Road
NR1 1DW, United Kingdom
+ 44 (0)300 123 3355
On Facebook: beat and Twitter @beatED

The Butterfly Foundation (Australia)

The Butterfly Foundation is dedicated to bringing about change to the culture, policy and practice in the prevention, treatment, and support of those affected by eating disorders and negative body image.

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P.O. Box 453
Malvern VIC 3144 Australia
+ 61(0)3 9822 5771
New South Wales
103 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia
+ 61 (0)2 9412 4499
On Facebook: The Butterfly Foundation and Twitter @Bfoundation

Eating Difficulties Education Network (EDEN) (Auckland, New Zealand)

EDEN is a nonprofit community agency based in Auckland, New Zealand. Their purpose is to promote body trust and satisfaction, size acceptance, and diversity on an individual and societal level.

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395A Manukau Road
Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand
P.O. Box 26 713, Epsom 1023, Auckland, New Zealand
+ 64 (0)9 378 9039
On Facebook: Eden Auckland and Twitter @EDENAuckland

Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand (EDANZ)

EDANZ was established to provide support and education for parents and caregivers of people with eating disorders. The society was established in September 2007 by a group of Auckland parents who all have children with eating disorders.

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+ 64 (0)9 5222679

National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC)

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is a Canadian nonprofit organization that provides information and resources on eating disorders and weight preoccupation.

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Their goal is to promote healthy lifestyles that allow people to be fully engaged in their lives.
200 Elizabeth Street,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(866) NEDIC- 20 (866- 633- 4220) toll- free or Toronto (416) 340- 4156
On Facebook: NEDIC— National Eating Disorder Information Centre and Twitter @nedic85


What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders can be recognized by a persistent pattern of unhealthy eating or dieting behavior. These patterns of eating behavior are associated with emotional, physical, and social distress. Eating disorders do not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, or race. They can be found in both genders, all age groups, and across a wide variety of races and ethnic backgrounds.

Although there are formal guidelines that health care professionals use to diagnose eating disorders [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)(American Psychiatric Association, 2000)], unhealthy eating behaviors exist on a continuum. Even if a person does not meet formal criteria for an eating disorder, she or he may be experiencing unhealthy eating behaviors that cause substantial distress and may be detrimental to both physical and psychological health.

The terms below are the official diagnostic categories, but eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. In the real world, many people are exceptions to these rules. Just because you don’t fit a diagnostic category to the letter does not mean you don’t need and deserve help.

The landscape of eating disorders will soon change with the publication of DSM-5. For now, proposed changes to the eating disorders section can be viewed at

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Individuals with anorexia nervosa are unable to maintain a body weight that is normal or expected for their age and height. Typically, this means that a person is less than 85% of their expected weight. Even when underweight, individuals with anorexia continue to be fearful of weight gain. Their thoughts and feelings about their size and shape have profound impact on their sense of self and their self-esteem. They often do not recognize or admit the seriousness of their weight loss and deny that it may have permanent adverse health consequences. Women with anorexia nervosa may stop having their periods.

Amenorrhea will no longer be a diagnostic criterion in DSM-5. There are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa. In the restricting subtype, people maintain their low body weight purely by restricting food intake and, possibly, by exercise. Individuals with the binge-eating/purging type also restrict their food intake, but also regularly engage in binge eating and/or purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics or enemas. Many people move back and forth between subtypes during the course of their illness.

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Individuals with bulimia nervosa experience binge-eating episodes, which are marked by eating an unusually large amount of food, usually in a discrete period of time, and feeling out of control while doing so. The sense of being out of control is what distinguishes binge eating from regular overeating. Binge eating is followed by attempts to “undo” the consequences of the binge by using unhealthy compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, severe caloric restriction, or excessive exercising.

Individuals with bulimia nervosa often feel as if their self-worth is dependent on their weight or shape.

Formal diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa require binge eating at least twice weekly for at least three months, but this will change to once a week in DSM-5. However, regardless of frequency, these behaviors are concerning and can have adverse physical and psychological consequences.

There are also two subtypes of bulimia nervosa. The purging type includes those individuals who self-induce vomiting or use of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. The non-purging type refers to those who compensate through excessive exercising or dietary fasting.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Individuals with binge eating disorder (BED) engage in binge eating, but do not regularly use inappropriate compensatory weight control behaviors such as fasting or purging to lose weight. The binge eating may involve rapid consumption of food, uncomfortable fullness after eating, and eating large amounts of food when not hungry. Feelings of shame and embarrassment are prominent. BED is often, but not always, associated with overweight and obesity. Other terms used to describe these and related problems include compulsive overeating, emotional eating, or food addiction. Binge eating disorder is currently included in the category titled Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, but will be given independent diagnostic status in DSM-5.

What Are Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)?

There are many variants of eating disorders that do not fall under the specific heading of anorexia or bulimia nervosa. In fact, most people with eating disorders have variations on those themes. Just because someone doesn’t have classic anorexia or bulimia nervosa does not mean that they do not need treatment. Individuals with eating disordered behaviors that resemble anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa but whose eating behaviors do not meet one or more essential diagnostic criteria may be diagnosed with EDNOS. Examples of EDNOS include individuals who regularly purge but do not binge eat, individuals who meet criteria for anorexia nervosa but continue to menstruate, and individuals who meet criteria for bulimia nervosa, but binge eat less than twice weekly. EDNOS will be replaced in the DSM-5 with a new category called Feeding and Eating Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified (FEDNEC), which will also include purging disorder, night eating syndrome and other presentations. We will describe these in greater depth once the DSM-5 committee has finalized the new criteria.

How Common are Eating Disorders?

Officially 0.9% of women suffer from anorexia nervosa, 1.5% from bulimia nervosa, and 3.5% from BED. For men, these numbers are 0.3%, 0.5%, and 2.0% (Hudson et al., 2007). This sums up to over 14 million Americans. Many more suffer from subthreshold conditions (that means they might not have a formal diagnosis of an eating disorder, but they experience many of the symptoms.)

How Common are Eating and Weight Concerns in Women Over 50?

Eating disordered behaviors don’t stop magically when you reach a certain age. In a recent study, we found that these behaviors can persist well after 50. We hope to do a similar study in men soon. Responses from 1,849 women over 50 revealed the following:

  • 8% of women reported purging in the last five years
  • 3.5% reported binge eating in the last month
  • 70% were trying to lose weight
  • 62% of women claimed that their weight or shape negatively impacted on their life
  • 79% said that their weight or shape affected their self-perception
  • 64% said that they thought about their weight or shape daily
  • 7.5% used diet pills
  • 7% engaged in excessive exercise
  • 2.5% used diuretics (water pills)
  • 2% used laxatives for weight loss
  • 1% reported self-inducing vomiting
  • 66%, were unhappy with their overall appearance and this was highest when it came to their stomach