Eating disorders are complicated, and are not just about food. Eating or not eating in a certain way, helps some cope with feelings that may be difficult to deal with directly.
Disordered eating refers to troublesome eating behaviours, such as restrictive dieting, binging, or purging, which occur less frequently or are less severe than those required to meet the full criteria for the diagnosis of an eating disorder.
Both conditions are cause for concern. Early help for symptoms has been proven to lessen the impacts of disordered eating, as well as prevent symptoms from meeting a diagnosis of an eating disorder.
Eating disorders involve changes, and at times, extreme changes in eating behavior. This can mean eating too much, not eating enough or eating in a really unhealthy way (such as binge eating).
Eating disorders can start small but can become more extreme and more harmful over time. Knowing the facts can help you to figure out if a problem exists, or if small changes in your eating habits might become a larger problem in time.