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Eating Disorders

Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Food restrictions, food rituals, binge eating, starving, purging or compulsive physical activity are some of the behaviours of people with eating disorders.


If you suspect your child has an eating disorder, act quickly. Someone with an eating disorder needs professional help. It is vital to recognize and treat the symptoms early.

Eating disorders can be difficult to detect. Glamorization of so-called ideal bodies, coupled with the view that dieting is a normal activity, can obscure a person’s eating problems. It can be difficult for a person with an eating disorder to admit they have a problem, let alone someone whose life is inhibited by weight preoccupation. Gaining an understanding of these conditions is the first step in the journey to wellness. Education and awareness activities are crucial.

Someone with an eating disorder may be:

  • . Obsessed with their appearance
  • . Severely preoccupied with food, weight and exercise
  • . Weighing themselves frequently
  • . Avoids eating with others
  • . Making abusive remarks about themselves
  • . Depressed or irritable

Characteristics of:

Anorexia Nervosa Bulimia Nervosa Binge Eating Disorder
  • drastic weight loss or keeping weight below a healthy level
  • intense fear of gaining weight (may be accompanied by excessive exercising)
  • possible loss of menstrual cycle
  • uncontrolled, secretive binge eating
  • purging of food (e.g. self induced vomiting)
  • fasting or excessive exercise
  • eating frequently in large quantities
  • feeling out of control & unable to stop
  • may eat rapidly or secretly
  • eating to avoid difficult relationships or people
  • finding comfort in eating
  • feeling guilty/ashamed of over-eating
  • may have a history of diet failures

Recovery from eating disorders is possible, especially when identified and treated early on.

There is no known single cause of eating disorders. Research suggests a combination of psychological, physiological, genetic and social factors may contribute to the development of anorexia or bulimia nervosa. Many individuals have symptoms of both conditions.

It is also essential that professionals receive specialized training for the treatment of eating disorders.

For GENERAL INFORMATION regarding EATING DISORDERS plEASE BE IN TOUCH WITH cmha, 67 King St. East in Kitchener.

For TREATMENT SERVICES contact CMHA-WWD and ask for an information and referral worker: 519-821-3582.

For FAMILY and FRIENDS SUPPORT GROUP: meetings 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from ^:30-*:30, 130 Weber St. West (at Breithaupt Stret) Suite 201. Enter from back parking lot and take elevator to 2nd floor). July and Augsut 4th Thursday only.

Useful links or resources for EATING DISORDERS:
Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association -
Canadian Mental Health Association, Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin – – 519-744-7645 or 1-877-627-2642
Eating Disorders Awareness & Prevention Inc. -
National Eating Disorders Information Centre -
Overeaters Anonymous - - phone: 519-886-9975