Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge-eating disorder (BED) are characterized by serious disturbances in eating behaviors as well as intense preoccupation with issues regarding eating, weight, body size and shape. Eating concerns and disordered eating behavior fall on a spectrum. While some may not meet the very specific criteria outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder, these individuals may fit into another category called Otherwise Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder or have an Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorder.
In the United States, there are 20 million women and ten million men suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and associated conditions (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, 2011). Eating disorders occur throughout the lifespan in people of diverse ethnicities.
Complications of eating disorders are serious, and can include malnutrition, organ damage, emotional distress and death. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
A large percentage of people with eating disorders fail to seek any help; for others, adequate treatment remains elusive. Many programs fail to recognize and treat co-existing disorders such as depression and anxiety. Columbia University Medical Center has dedicated 30 years of research to actively developing evidence-based therapies for these disorders.
People who answer yes to a significant number of these questions may have an eating problem. If you are concerned that you may have a problem please contact your doctor, a mental health professional or call our clinic at 646-774-8066.