What is OSFED?
Some of the most typical forms of unspecified eating (OSFED) disorders include orthorexia, excessive/compulsive exercise, body dysmorphic disorder and diabulimia. Affecting between four to six percent of the population, OSFED was formerly referred to as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).
Symptoms & Signs of Other Specified Eating & Feeding Disorders
Each of the lesser-known eating-related disorders, including orthorexia, body dysmorphia, exercise compulsion and diabulimia – has unique and distinct characteristics, symptoms and warning signs.
Signs and Symptoms
Restricting calories and/or self-starvation
Purging through means including self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse or compulsive exercise
Distorted body image
Body dysmorphic disorder
What Are the Health Risks of Eating Disorders?
The health risks associated with Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) are numerous and varied, as these conditions can involve any number of maladaptive eating or exercise behaviors.
- Organ failure
- Muscle loss and weakness
- Electrolyte and chemical imbalances
- Tooth decay and staining
- Irregular bowel movements/constipation
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
- Type II diabetes mellitus and/or gallbladder disease
Orthorexia seems to be in the news more and more lately as "healthy" eating is taken to the extreme. People with orthorexia become obsessed with the foods they consume and avoid foods that are perceived as impure, unclean and/or unhealthy. Those struggling with orthorexia are concerned with the type and quality of foods consumed — not the quantity of food consumed. To differentiate, those with anorexia consume very little; those with binge eating disorder consume a larger amount of food. Orthorexia is not an official eating disorder diagnosis or a medically recognized term. It is a descriptive term for an observed behavior and is used widely in popular culture. While the term itself is inaccurate, it underscores a real and very serious pattern of disordered eating.
Excessive Exercise/Compulsive Exercise
You may know it as over-exercise, compulsive exercise, or obligatory exercise. Excessive exercise becomes a serious health problem when individuals focus a significant amount of time into physical activity that is:
- Obligatory in nature
- Accompanied by a sense of urgency or agitation when individuals can’t engage in the exercise behavior
- Undertaken in spite of illness, injure or poor/dangerous weather conditions
- At the expense of other activities (work, school, social life)
- Causing serious health problems (GI symptoms, changes in menses, etc.)
Body dysmorphic disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a body image disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts related to body size, shape or weight. Negative thoughts may be focused on a single body part or the entire body. BDD has a number of serious effects on one's life, including:
- Severe emotional distress
- Problems with daily functioning (refusal to go out or to be seen in photos)
- Extreme efforts to “fix” the real or perceived flaw (diet, exercise, plastic surgery, camouflaging with clothes, makeup, wigs, etc.)
Diabulimia is a pattern of disordered eating in which an individual with type 1 diabetes intentionally misuses insulin for weight control/weight loss. Diabulimia is not an official eating disorder diagnosis or a medically recognized term. It is a descriptive term for an observed behavior and is used widely in popular culture. While the term itself is inaccurate, it underscores a real and very serious pattern of disordered eating.