Eating Disorder Warning Signs

In addition to the signs and symptoms for each type of Eating Disorder, a range of warning signs can also indicate the possible development of an Eating Disorder.

The possible early warning signs of Eating Disorders may include one or more of the following:

    Adoption of slow eating strategies, such as eating with a teaspoon.
    Avoidance of social situations involving food.
    Dieting or overeating.
    Disappearance of large amounts of food, food wrappers in bins, and so on.
    Excessive or fluctuating exercise patterns.
    Faintness, dizziness, fatigue.
    Fast eating.
    Fear of becoming overweight.
    Feelings of being out of control with respect to food.
    Hoarding food.
    Increased interest in preparing food for others.
    Loss or disturbance of menstrual periods (females).
    Making frequent excuses not to eat.
    Mood changes or mood swings.
    Obsessive rituals, such as only drinking out of a certain cup, only eating certain foods on certain days, and so on.
    Over eating.
    Preoccupation with ‘good and ‘bad foods.
    Pre-occupation with body appearance or weight.
    Radical change in clothing style.
    Regular trips to the bathroom after meals may be to regurgitate the food just eaten?
    Sensitivity to the cold, especially when this id because someone is too thin.
    Sleep disturbances.
    Social withdrawal and social isolation.
    Spending most of the meal time rearranging food on plate, without actually consuming much of it.
    Wearing baggy clothes.
    Weight loss or change, mostly due to dieting, but sometimes from a stressful situation or illness.

Many of the behaviors that are associated with Eating Disorders are secretive, hard to spot, or can be dismissed as someone “going through puberty”. As such, it is not uncommon for an Eating Disorder to go undetected.
In addition, some Eating Disorders are hard to detect for other reasons.

For example, Bulimia can be very difficult to detect as the sufferer may be of normal or fluctuating body weight, and they may be good at hiding or disguising the signs and symptoms that may associate them with Bulimia.

The symptoms of an Eating Disorder may be the first indications that the sufferer is experiencing psychological problems and distress. Some people exhibit many signs of an Eating Disorder, while others may exhibit only a few.

Like This Article? Sciencebeta has a free 3 times weekly digest of the most interesting and intriguing articles in psychology, neuroscience, neurology, and cognitive sciences. Want to give it a try? Subscribe right here