Eating Problems

There are two main types of eating problems that people can suffer from;

Anorexia and Bulimia.

What are eating problems?

There are two main types of eating problems that people can suffer from – Anorexia and Bulimia.  If you're concerned about either of these, you're not alone. It can be very difficult to accept that you have a problem, but when you do, there are lots of people who can help. 

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia is an eating problem where you worry about your weight, want to lose weight and eat less and less food. It's a serious condition, but with the right help, you can recover and take back your life.

If things feel out of control, restricting what you eat could be a way of feeling more in charge. 

Girls are ten times more likely than boys to develop anorexia, but eating disorders are becoming more common among males.



The symptoms of anorexia nervosa are both physical and mental.

  • Feelings and behaviours

    • Eating less and less
    • Exercising too much
    • Thinking a lot about calories
    • Feeling panicky about eating in front or others or having a big meal
    • Feeling fat even though people tell you you're too thin
    • Obsession with body image and comparing your body to others
    • Losing interest in things
    • Low mood and irritability.
  • Physical changes:

    • Losing lots of weight quickly
    • Periods stopping or being unable to have an erection
    • Feeling cold all the time
    • Growing new downy hair on your body
    • Poor sleep and concentration
    • Constipation.

What is Bulimia?

Bulimia is an eating problem which makes people want to eat a lot of food at once and then try to get rid of it, usually by throwing up, using laxatives or doing a lot of exercise.

Some of the main signs of bulimia include:

  • Feeling in a cycle of binge eating and purging (eating lots then making yourself sick)
  • Leaving the room to go to the bathroom straight after eating
  • loneliness
  • Wanting to be thinner
  • Getting obsessed with exercise
  • Feeling the need to eat a lot, even if you’re not hungry
  • Having a list of food you’re ‘not allowed’ to eat
  • Buying lots of food and hiding it
  • Feeling depressed or anxious (especially at meal times)
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed
  • Putting on a lot of weight or losing a lot of weight really quickly. 

Where can I go for help?

If you think you are affected by anorexia nervosa or bulimia, talk to your parents or carers or to someone else you like and trust, like a teacher, relative, counsellor or friend. You should also see your GP.