other eating disorders

Key points:

  • People with OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders) don’t meet the exact criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder
  • OSFED is one of the most common eating disorders
  • OSFED is just as serious than any other eating disorder
  • OSFED was previously known as EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified)

Very often people don’t meet the exact criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder but they still engage in eating behaviours that cause them major distress. These disorders fall under the term OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder). It’s important to note that they are not less serious than a “typical” eating disorder, and in fact it’s extremely common for people to receive a diagnosis of OSFED.

There are five types of OSFED:

  1. Atypical Anorexia Nervosa: This is where someone meets all the criteria for anorexia, but their weight is within or above the normal range (despite them having significant weight loss).
  2. Atypical Bulimia Nervosa: Someone with atypical bulimia meets all the criteria for bulimia except that their binge eating and purging generally occur less than once a week and/or for less than 3 months.
  3. Binge Eating Disorder (of low frequency and/or limited duration): This is where someone meets all the criteria for binge eating disorder, except that their binges occur less often and/or for less than three months.
  4. Purging Disorder: A person with purging disorder purges but does not binge.
  5. Night Eating Syndrome: Someone with NES has recurrent episodes of eating at night. They may eat after waking from sleep, or eat excessive amounts of food after dinner. NES is not the same as an occasional late night snack after a social gathering, but is more frequent and extreme.

There are other feeding/eating disorders such as pica, rumination disorder and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder - you can read about these in more detail on the Eating Disorders Victoria website.

Learn about orthorexia