Eating Disorders Types

by Rachel Wisniewski

eating disorders types graphic

Do you (or a friend) struggle with one of these eating disorders types? Do you exercise excessively after eating too much? Do you know a friend who is struggling with her self-esteem and often decides to raid the fridge rather then face the issues? Do you obsessively count calories in fear of gaining weight? Although none of these things alone mean you have an eating disorder they can become one of the three main eating disorders types.

The issue of eating disorders continues to grow among teenage girls. Pressure from magazines, television, and peers often drive young women to obsess over their bodies. One way to help curb the eating disorder trend is to educate teens and to encourage those suffering to take comfort in what Jesus tells us in the Bible.

Following are the three main eating disorders types and a brief explanation of each of them.

Anorexia Nervosa

In Greek Anorexia means “lack of appetite.” Those suffering from Anorexia are often low in body weight. They also suffer with image distortion, believing they are bigger then they actually are. Anorexics have an extreme fear of gaining weight. Anorexia is considered a mental illness.

Bulimia Nervosa

A person suffering from Bulimia binges; eating a lot of food at once and then Purges by taking laxatives, throwing up, or excessive exercising. Bulimia is often connected to Anorexia in that it is considered a mental illness. Bulimics may be underweight however most are of average weight which makes the illness hard to spot.

Binge Eating

This disorder is marked by impulsive eating habits. The binger will stuff themselves full to the point they are very uncomfortable. Think of it as excessive overeating. There is no purging involved with Binge Eating however the person suffering may go on extreme diets post binge because they have so much anxiety over the weight gained during a binge. People of all shapes and sizes suffer from Binge Eating.

Eating Disorders Are Turning to Food (or lack of food) to Fill An Emotional Void.

Jesus wants us to come to him when we are feeling troubled. He says in Mathew 11:28 “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

The Bible also tells us that it is important to not put so much emphasis on our outward appearance. In Mathew 6 Jesus says "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Jesus wants us to find comfort in knowing that our bodies are made by him. He wants us to treat them with respect rather then destroying them with disordered eating.

You Are Not Alone

If you are dealing with an eating disorder, or you are watching a friend go through this battle, we want you to know that you are not alone.

We would love to pray for you and support you. So send us your prayer requests here.

You can also share your story below.

Other Articles on Eating Disorders

Anorexia in Teenage Girls

Anorexia Tips - Getting Help!

National Statistics for Anorexia with Charts

Anorexia symptoms - signs of anorexia

Recommended Reading

Nothing But Your Truth Will Help Me God
by Rae Lynn DeAngelis

Rae Lynn shares her story of developing a real relationship with Jesus by learning to trust God's Word. And how that helped her to overcome her own eating disorder.

More Help for Teen Girls...


Shelley and Heather have written a book
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Have you or a friend of yours struggled with an eating disorder? If so, tell us your story and get encouragement from those who care.

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Other People's Stories...

Click below to read others stories of how God is at work in their lives.

I Know You. 
I know you. You're the girl who seems to have it all together. Maybe you're super smart. Maybe you're a cheerleader. Maybe you're the perfect daughter …

What's wrong with me?!?! 
I'm thirteen years old and in the eighth grade. I'm really tall; 5'8", so you would think that I should weigh more because I'm pretty tall. But that's …

A Bulimic's Epiphany  
I posted this on a teen dieting community I'm a member of: You know what? I feel cheated. Lied to. Hoodwinked. How come fitness videos don't tell …

How did I never SEE it? 
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I'm not you- You're not me. 
My mom was a nutritionist- always fit, always thin, and I.... Well, the thinnest I've ever been was when I was five years old. I hated myself. I would …

ugh! 
so yeah i think im fat and so do a lot of other people. Umm i weigh 200 pounds at least and im only 15 years old. It makes me sick when i come home from …

Beloved Story [ Beautifully Broken] 
Isaiah 53:5 Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and …

Still struggling 
I understand that not many really would care about the pity that led to this eating disorder, but how it started: I was a baby and my grandpa squeezed …

Compulsive eating 
My friend eats all her food on her plate and then wants more food on some one else's plate. she already weighs about 150 for a 11 year old kid. i am afraid …

Food obsessed 
I gained 40 pounds in 2 years from an addiction to food. I went from my 100 pound body to 138, and this summer I finally lost weight and got to 130, but …

"well why aren't you skinny then?" 
Eating disorders are like living in hell. I'm 19 and had suffered from this since I was 13. It's a part of my self harm and honestly I don't really care …

Goodbye Ana 
Goodbye Ana I’m Kate, 31 and relieved to be able to say that today I am in recovery from anorexia. Recovery to me has been a long, painful process involving …

Never was the Type 
I've always heard of eating disorders, obsessions with body image and more. I was a tomboy and I didn't ever worry about that stuff. I heard of girls my …

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