Health conditions

Eating disorders

  • Eating disorders are a mental illness.
  • However, eating disorders often have significant physical complications and can be life-threatening.
  • They can affect people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures but the most common age of onset is adolescence.
What are the most common types of eating disorders?

The most common eating disorders are:

What are the risk factors of an eating disorder?
Dieting, depression, anxiety, trauma and body dissatisfaction are some of the risk factors for the onset of an eating disorder, but there is usually a combination of different factors.
What are the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder?
  • Sudden or significant decrease in weight.
  • More preoccupied with eating, dieting, exercising related issues.
  • Binge eating (eating large amounts of food and feeling out of control).
  • Excessive exercising or vomiting after meals.
  • More importance placed on weight and shape in terms of how the person feels about themselves.

Other factors

The following can also sometimes be present with an eating disorder:

  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • anxiety
  • food phobias
  • other psychiatric disorders.

It is important that these problems are also addressed.

Where to get help


Perth Children's Hospital (PCH)
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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