Eating disorders

What is OSFED, EDNOS, BED, ED-DMT1 and other types of eating disorders?

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) - Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

Eating disorders are complex; different people with the same disorder may have different symptoms. When a person has symptoms of disordered eating, but doesn’t fit the criteria for a diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia nervosa, they may be diagnosed with an Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) (which used to be known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)). For example, people may:
• Have thoughts about restricting eating and use food as a punishment. 
• Feel they need to make up, or ‘compensate’, for eating through excessive exercise or vomiting. 
• Have no pleasure in food, viewing it simply as a necessity whilst keeping their weight at a “healthy” level.
OSFED/EDNOS is no less serious an eating disorder than anorexia and bulimia nervosa. 
BED - Binge Eating Disorder

A binge eating disorder (BED) is where people experience a loss of control and overeat (binge) on a regular basis. Those that binge more than once a week for three months or more, could have binge eating disorder. People who binge eat get through very large quantities of food over a short period of time, even when they are not hungry. Binges can be planned like a ritual and can involve the person buying "special" binge foods but can also happen in a ‘dazed’ state where people are not able to recall what they ate. People often binge in private because they feel embarrassed, guilty or disgusted with their behaviour after they have finished eating. Episodes of binge eating sometimes alternate with periods where the person cuts down on the amount of food they eat. Unlike those with bulimia, people who binge eat do not purge (make themselves sick) after eating. 

‘While the condition is slightly more common in women than men, the numbers of men and women affected are more equal than in other eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa. The condition tends to first develop in young adults, although many people do not seek help until they are in their 30s or 40s. It’s estimated that there is around a 1 in 30 to 1 in 50 chance of a person developing binge eating disorder at some point during their life’ (NHS choices 2015). For more on binge eating see our website on 'Young people's experiences of health and weight - obsessing about food'. 

ED-DMT1, also sometimes known as diabulimia is an eating disorder that affects people with Type 1 Diabetes (DMT1). It happens when people with Type 1 Diabetes give themselves less insulin than they need, in order to lose weight. ED-DMT1 is not currently recognised as a formal diagnosis but is nevertheless a growing and serious problem. It is difficult to know how many young people this affects but Diabetes UK (October 2018) estimates that around 4 out of 10 women, aged 15 to 30, take less insulin to lose weight. And for young men, it’s around 1 out of 10.
Lack of awareness and poor recognition of ED-DMT1 among people with diabetes and health professionals can potentially delay treatment and also make people feel alone and isolated.
As part of our project about young people and Type 1 Diabetes we interviewed people who had developed an eating disorder. Here they talk about their experiences and how they got help:
For links to more information about ED-DMT1 and other types of eating disorders including Binge Eating Disorder (BED), Compulsive Overeating and Orthorexia visit our resources section.

Last reviewed October 2018.
​Last updated October 2018.


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