Eating disorders are complex conditions made up of a combination of underlying biological, psychological, behavioral and social causes.  Scientific researchers have worked extensively over the last 30 years to better understand the many intricacies that contribute to and maintain eating disorder symptoms.  Still, there remain unanswered questions as individuals and families work to recover from the emotional and physical toll of eating disorders.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR) describes three categories of eating disorders:

·         Anorexia Nervosa (AN)

·         Bulimia Nervosa (BN)

·         Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).

However, many individuals experience variations of disordered eating that do not completely meet the criteria for these three conditions.  These eating difficulties may be equally troubling and cause significant disruption to daily living, reduce emotional stability and decrease overall levels of happiness.  Currently, researchers are working to redefine eating disorders to include other types of disordered eating behaviors such as binge eating, compulsive exercise and orthorexia (fixation with healthy eating).