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Eating disorders and why seeing a specialist eating disorder dietitian is so important

Types of Eating Disorders

1. Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is a complex mental illness that affects a person in multiple ways, treatment approaches should be collaborative.

The professionals who typically make up a treatment team may include:

  • Psychiatrist

  • Medical doctor

  • Therapist/counselor

  • Registered dietitian

How can seeing on of our expert Eating Disorder Dietitian's help with recovery?

  • Teach intuitive eating skills- making peace with their food and body. With binge eating disorder, food often becomes the culprit, as individuals struggle with a “love-hate” relationship with themselves and their bodies.

  • Help identify non food related coping strategies - Individuals with binge eating disorder may also feel a sense of chaos that revolves around food, as foods are often eaten out of proportion to what is actually needed or for sheer emotional reasons.

  • Help with stopping the restrictive dieting cycle - A person with binge eating disorder may also struggle with their weight or hyper focus on weight loss, which can further perpetuate a cycle of binge eating.

  • Meal planning - balancing our blood sugar levels and ensuring the individual is eating enough of the right food to prevent lapses , binges and /or purges.

  • Correct any nutritional deficiencies

  • Myth Busting! - Your registered dietitian will also help an individual work through food myths, misconceptions, and fallacies that may be believed about food, weight, and intake.

  • Monitor weight trends for you - A registered dietitian can also monitor weight trends, help with meal planning, grocery shopping, meal support and working on integrating family members into nutrition plans.


According to the DSM-5 diagnosis criteria include

  • eating or feeding disturbances marked by

    • significant weight loss or failure to meet expected growth in children

    • nutritional deficiency

    • dependence on oral or enteral nutrition supplements

    • marked interference with psychosocial function

  • disturbance not marked by external factor, like poor access to food or other mental or health issue

  • person does not have distorted body image

Management strategies for ARFID continue to evolve but include nutritional, psychological, sensory-motor and medical assessment, followed by plans focusing on:

  • dietary – ensuring that nutritional needs are met to optimise growth and development

  • psychological – management of parental/child anxiety and coping with mealtimes

  • sensory-motor strategies – relating to the child’s environment, de-sensitisation strategies and the development of oro-motor skills

ARFID Signs and When to Seek Help

  • avoidance of complete food groups, food textures

  • difficulty trying foods with certain textures, smells, tastes

  • accepting less than 20 foods

  • poor appetite

  • difficulty chewing/swallowing

  • significant weight loss

  • in children drop in weight and/or height percentile on growth curve

How a Dietitian can Help with ARFID

  • Reduce mealtime and feeding anxiety.

  • Assess potential nutrition deficiencies and provide appropriate recommendations as needed.

  • Assess barriers to feeding including causes of feeding or eating difficulties.

  • Referrals to additional health care providers (i.e therapist, occupational or speech therapist), as needed.

  • Provide education on how and what to offer for meals and snacks.

  • Positive approaches to introduce and explore new foods.

  • Work together to select new foods to try.

3. Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by extreme dieting, severe weight loss and resulting malnourishment. Anorexia nervosa occurs when a person experiences intense fear and anxiety in relation to food and weight gain.Anorexia can have a multitude of adverse effects on the body, from wasted muscles and bones to cardiovascular problems and organ failure. Multi-discplinary intervention is key and we are here to help.

How a dietitian can help in your recovery process?

  • Weight restoration

  • Meal plans

  • Myth busting

  • Goal setting

  • Eliminating any nutritional deficiencies

  • Monitoring food intake

  • Preventing any further complications of health

  • Family intervention and meal planning

  • Side effect control

  • Preventing refeeding syndrome

  • Liase with our multi-discplinary team

Click HERE to download the EAT-26 screening tool

Or, you can answer the S.C.O.F.F Questionnaire:
  • Do you ever make yourself Sick because you feel uncomfortably full?

  • Do you worry you have lost Control over how much you eat?

  • Have you recently lost more than 10kg (ONE stone)in a three-month period?

  • Do you believe yourself to be Fat when others say you are too thin?

  • Would you say that Food dominates your life?

If you feel you are ready to receive individualised 1-1 support, please email and we will book you in with our specialist eating disorder dietitian.

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