Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED), formerly recognized as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

OSFED/EDNOS is a serious, life-threatening, and treatable eating disorder. The category was developed to encompass those individuals who do not meet strict diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or BED (Binge Eating Disorder) and still have a significant eating disorder.

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Someone with OSFED may display a combination of the following symptoms

  • Demonstrates behaviors and attitudes that indicate weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns
  • Is preoccupied with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting
  • Makes frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight despite weight loss
  • Denies feeling hungry
  • Shows evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics
  • Develops food rituals (e.g. eats only a particular food or food group [e.g. condiments], excessive chewing, doesn’t allow foods to touch)
  • Disappears after eating, often to the bathroom
  • Steals or hoards food in strange places
  • Uses excessive amounts of mouthwash, mints, and gum
  • Has calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles from self- induced vomiting
  • Withdraws from usual friends and activities
  • Complains of stomach cramps, other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid reflux, etc.)
  • Purges meals through laxatives or vomiting without binge eating behaviors
  • Chews and spits food
  • Dresses in layers to hide weight loss or stay warm
  • Is unable to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g., no carbohydrates)
  • Complains of constipation, abdominal pain, cold intolerance, lethargy, and/or excess energy
  • Shows evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food
  • Appears uncomfortable eating around others
  • Skips meals or takes small portions of food at regular meals
  • Demonstrates fear of eating in public or with others
  • Drinks excessive amounts of water or non-caloric beverages
  • Shows unusual swelling of the cheeks or jaw area
  • Has teeth are discolored, stained
  • Looks bloated from fluid retention
  • Only eats “healthy” foods or specific kinds of foods to the extent that it creates nutritional deficiencies or difficulties in relationships or general functioning
  • Compulsively overeats or grazes throughout the day to a point of feeling out of control

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