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Can I still have an eating disorder if I am considered as obese or overweight?

29 Answers
Last Updated: 01/15/2018 at 8:06pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
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Tanyia Hughes, Adv Dip Psy


I have been through a lot in life too, which helps me to be able to empathize with situations, thoughts and feelings that we have. Sometimes, it's not easy just being human.

Top Rated Answers
June 4th, 2015 2:26am
Absolutely! I believe that an eating disorder is more about frame of mind and behaviors than about an actual weight. There is an obsession with food (whether it's avoiding eating, engaging in binge eating, planning times to purge, an addiction to eating, or other types of obsessions). And, there is often behaviors that go along with the thoughts such as purging or excessive exercise or taking extreme measures to get certain foods and/or avoid certain foods. Finally, I think there is usually a dissatisfaction with one's body image and, often, an unrealistic view of what "healthy" is. We live in a society where people strive to be a size zero or two and that's not necessarily realistic or healthy for everyone.
November 2nd, 2015 6:16pm
Yes. eating disorder is more mental disorders that defined by abnormal eating habits that negatively affect a person's physical or mental health.
November 23rd, 2015 3:08am
yes, a person can still have an eating disorder if they are considered as obese or overweight. eating disorders are mental disorders and are a large spectrum. there is no such thing as being "not sick enough" to get help.
June 5th, 2015 11:49pm
You certainly can. It is a misconception that the only eating disorder is anorexia and that is only for "skinny" people. I have struggled with weight my entire life and still have a BMI over 30. I have what is called Anorexia Athletic (or Exercise anorexia). I have to be very careful or I become obsessed with dieting and food. Every time I eat I would feel that I should go workout to work it off. It has a taken quite a while to try and address this and it is still an urge that I fight (although I still work out two hours everyday - I do not let myself workout again after eating like I would like to do). I have great endurance and am medically healthy but am still obese. There are many different types of eating disorders that people can have - no matter their weight.
June 14th, 2015 3:02pm
Some of these answers are excellent, but I'd like to respond without referring to any clinical statistics or volumes. I had an ED for almost 15 years. Weight changes are only the physical and visible manifestation of what an ED puts you through - because it's visible, this is the part that gets focused on, and the only part people feel able to relate to. It's quite disappointing (and sadly ironic) that even the diagnosis of ED is made solely; by some doctors, on a weight or measurement of physicality. Its not uncommon for someone with already disordered eating in bulimia or BED to further punish themselves by feeling that they have 'the wrong' disorder. If you would like to talk your issues through, I'm here to listen. Pandaxia
August 10th, 2015 8:03pm
Yes you can have an eating disorder if you are considered overweight , like binge eating disorder or EDNOS .
January 21st, 2015 4:52am
Yes, you can. A eating disorder can stem from the fact that your obese or overweight, which may lead you to not liking your self image, and possibly ending up like many other people who have fallen prey to what a eating disorder can do to your body. You don't need to be underweight to have an eating disorder, just follow the signs and treat it right :)
February 18th, 2015 12:11am
Absolutely. The belief that being extremely skinny is the only type or sign of an eating disorder is a fallacy. Eating disorders come in many shapes, sizes, and types.
April 5th, 2015 5:51pm
Weight, whether over or underweight is irrelevant to an eating disorder. It can happen to anyone of any size, age, race, gender or health status. If you feel you have an eating disorder, one of the main steps would be to see a medical professional so that they can properly diagnose the situation and further assist you with the help you may need.
April 29th, 2015 5:47pm
Yes! There are many types of eating disorders that affect body and appetite in many different ways! While an anorexia nervosa diagnosis does in many cases require a very low body weight/BMI, there are other eating disorders like Bulimia (which in many cases, coincides with a "normal" body weight), Binge-Eating (which can affect ALL body weights), and EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). A person (man, woman, or anything in between) can show many symptoms of an eating disorder, regardless of where they fall on the BMI scale.
May 1st, 2015 6:43am
Indeed, and if it is not considered a "Binge-Eating Disorder," one may fall under a different category, such as the newly classification by the name of EDNOS, which stands for "Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified." The reason for this is because a person may not be considered clinically "anorexic," for example, according to the criteria outlined in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which states that a person must be below a certain weight, although it is apparent they exhibit signs of disordered eating. So with that being said, it is certainly possible for an obese or overweight person with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
May 7th, 2015 6:51am
Yes, you totally can. I would suggest talking to a physician more about this actually. You can be anorexic or bulimic and be overweight.
June 25th, 2015 4:10pm
Eating disorders are much more about the physical and mental destruction than about a certain physical appearance. It is so true that people can have an eating disorder at any size/weight.
July 6th, 2015 11:36pm
Absolutely. Eating disorders are not only characterized by overtly skinny girls who do nothing but crunches and drink diet coke and eat celery. Anyone can have an eating disorder. I am not discouraging you to get help, but I would keep in mind that society often projects it's skewed views on those who may have low self-esteem, and they can make it seem like the ED community is a glorified one. listen to your body and trust your instinct. I wish you a healthy and safe recovery!
August 11th, 2015 12:50am
Yes! You don't have to be underweight to be considered to have an eating disorder. There are many different categories of eating disorders and they can show different signs and symptoms in different people.
October 29th, 2015 3:02am
yes because i had bulimia and i was overweight by alot. i hardly lost any weight during the time anyways but still i was trying.
November 9th, 2015 8:30pm
No, certainly not. Eating disorders can happen to anyone regarding religion, ethnicity, gender , height, weight etc. To get a diagnosis you should see a GP and thats where they take it.
February 9th, 2016 3:45am
You might have eating disorder, it should affect your social, personal and occupational life. Also, need to check the symptoms and then decide.
March 1st, 2016 6:53am
Yes you can. An eating disorder is not related to how much you currently weigh, but related to self-desctructive eating habits as a whole. Whether the person is undereating or overeating or both, the behavior would still be considered an eating disorder, regardless of current weight.
March 1st, 2016 4:34pm
Of course. Your weight has nothing to do with your mental health. Even if you are 300+ pounds and you become obsessive with starving yourself you follow the criteria for an eating disorder. A lot of people don't think anorexics can be heavy, but you don't know where someone started. Someone might be 180 but started at 300 not too long ago. Not to mention not all eating disorders make you lose weight. Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder but it makes you gain. Anyone of any shape or size can develop an eating disorder.
February 15th, 2017 3:55pm
Yes. There's so many facets; atypical anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating.
April 18th, 2017 8:33pm
Of course. It depends on the disorder though. General people who are obese cannot simultaneously suffer from anorexia- as that requires someone to barely eat at all. And if you barely eat at all, you tend to be overly and unhealthily thin. Anorexia is not the only eating disorder. There are an unfortunate amount of afflictions. The important part is how you deal with them and if you try to take good care of yourself!
May 8th, 2017 5:24pm
yes lovely person, eating disorders are about how you feel. it must be hard for you, and I understand. Im so sorry you had to experience something as terrible as an eating disorder. This made me tear up because I just feel so bad for you. just please remember how beautiful you are, no matter what the scales says. if you are healthy and safe there is really no reason to change your weight
July 3rd, 2017 6:00am
Yes, eating disorder effect all shapes and sized, there are disorders like binge eating, but there is something that falls under the other specified eating and feeding disorder called atypical anorexia, which is someone who is normal or or overweight but still has all the symptoms of anorexia
November 7th, 2017 10:18am
Yes, in fact if you are not eating it may cause you to gain weight due your body storing up all of your energy.
November 20th, 2017 12:18am
Of course! Eating disorders come in all forms, shapes, sizes, colors, and severities. It can be different for everyone.
November 20th, 2017 5:08pm
Of course, eating disorders are not defined by your weight. They are defined by unhealthy eating habits, which doesn't have to focus on losing weight.
November 29th, 2017 9:49pm
Yes absolutely, I was a patient in a clinic for eating disorder and we had overweight/obese patients with binge eating disorders, bulimia or EDNOS. And all kinds of disorders were treated equally serious!
January 15th, 2018 8:06pm
Yes, you may binge eat or eat loads and then throw up (bulimia) so yes, anyone can have a eating disorder.