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To think obesity is an eating disorder? *POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING*

(183 Posts)
pinkliquorice Sat 04-Nov-17 22:45:04

I don't want this to be triggering or offensive in anyway. If you are stuggleing with your weight or an eating disorder and are likely to be triggered by these discussions please dont read on.

Do you consider obesity to be an eating disorder in the same way as anorexia for example? AIBU to suggest this? Me and my partner have been discussing it all evening

Extra info:
(Being out of the healthy BMI range on either sides is obviously really dangerous and can have numerous negative effects on health and can even result in death.
But why as a society do we view being dangerously overweight any different to being dangerously underweight?
I have struggled with anorexia and bulimia on and off since I was 13 and when I have been severly underweight I have been given support and sympathy not judgement and that is the only reason why I am now better.
When my weight has fallen below a certain mark I have been hospitalised and given treatment to help me return to a healthy BMI, but for someone over the healthy BMI range they are not given the same treatment.
Body positivity is extremely important to me, and everyone no matter their weight deserves to be happy and respected but is there not an opposite to the Pro-Ana movement?
If someone commented on me being underweight and told me I needed to eat, I would go into panic and restict even more as controlling and reducing my weight and food consumption was my comfort, I was addicted to not eating and that took my pain away.
Surely obesity is the exact opposite of this, is it not the case that often when someone is overweight, they eat for comfort and if someone tells them they are overweight and they need to eat less that they eat more to take the pain away.)

Again, I know this is a really sensitive subject and I dont want to upset or cause offence to anyone.

Hubblebubble64 Sat 04-Nov-17 22:52:13

I totally agree with you, I think people with anorexia are seen as having an illness while overweight people are seen as greedy and not trying to sort themselves out. Both need help.

Bambamber Sat 04-Nov-17 22:53:37

Being an unhealthy weight in itself isn't an eating disorder, I believe it's the mental health issues that lead to being that weight. Some people are obese because they're ignorant and/or lazy, that's not an eating disorder. Some people have genuine health conditions that make weight management difficult such as thyroid problems and hormonal problems such as PCOS. Again it wouldn't be right to class that as an eating disorder. But if someone is outright binge eating,I do believe that is actually classed as an eating disorder because there is normally something causing that behaviour.

Being underweight isn't an eating disorder the same way as being obese isn't an eating disorder.

RavenWings Sat 04-Nov-17 22:54:41

Yes, I do see it as an eating disorder of some kind, with lots of possible triggers. I do think though that unlike anorexia, obesity is much more socially acceptable and our perception of what a body in the healthy weight ranges is totally skewed.

It must make it so much harder for people to realise and accept they have a problem.

SunnySkiesSleepsintheMorning Sat 04-Nov-17 22:56:24

Obesity alone is not an eating disorder, however, many people who are obese have eating disorders. They deserve excellent care, good quality treatment and proper support.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Sat 04-Nov-17 22:57:32

Yes of courses it's an eating disorder

RB68 Sat 04-Nov-17 22:57:56

I agree and some are starting to think this way. Some people its lackof knowledge and poor habits but I actually have never met anyone like that. I believe there is far more emotionally and mentally involved and we have yet to explore that properly. As a culture our reaction is to hound people to eat less and move more. Without looking at why people overeat beyond saying wrong choices. Comfort eating is about controlling emotions and feelings which is linked with mental state in my view. Eating can also be a place of safety for e.g. in reaction to sexual assault or rape or emotional abuse.

Gameofgnomes Sat 04-Nov-17 22:58:03

I completely agree that some people who are obese will be due to an eating disorder. I am included in this.

When I tried to get help I was completely dismissed.

If I was the opposite I'd have had help a long time ago sad

pinkliquorice Sat 04-Nov-17 22:59:08

I forgot to mention that there is a diagnosis of binge disorder.
Of course being over or underweight generally isn’t an eating disorder but at a dangerous level, eating a dangerously low amount of calories and being dangerously underweight is enough in itself to warrant a if not anorexia but EDNOS diagnosis.
Eating an excessive amount of calories and being obese surely should be enough for some kind of diagnosis.

Antigonads Sat 04-Nov-17 23:00:28

I am obese because of the tablets I am taking and other health issues.

Your point is?

pinkliquorice Sat 04-Nov-17 23:02:43

I run the risk of being accused of fat shaming but society seems to be slipping into acceptance of obesity, to me this is just as dangerous as the pro ana movement. Being dangerously overweight isn’t something to be proud of we need to support and class it as an illness not just accept it.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Sat 04-Nov-17 23:04:54

I have often thought that my over eating and obesity are a form of self harm - even a slow suicide - related to my depression and anxiety.

CorbynsBumFlannel Sat 04-Nov-17 23:06:14

Compulsive eating is a recognised ed I think. But I don’t think you have to overeat that much for your weight to gradual creep up especially if you are inactive. So obesity can be a result of slight overeating/lack of activity over a long period or eating normal quantities but regular poor dietary choices. So I don’t think there has to be depression/anxiety or extremes of behaviour that would constitute disordered eating. Basically I think it’s less effort/behaviour change to put on weight than to lose for most people.

pinkliquorice Sat 04-Nov-17 23:06:48


I also know that there are physical health problems that lead to obesity such as the ones mentioned above. There are also physical conditions that can lead to someone being underweight, and in this case anorexia for example wouldn’t be the reason.
But with the absence of any physical problems causing obesity, surely it is a mental health issue?

Nofunkingworriesmate Sat 04-Nov-17 23:12:15

I am obese, and I totally consider myself to have an eating disorder
But would not be classed as having a disorder by a Dr because I don't throw up or binge or do anything else other than eat more than I need to. The reason I know it is a serious problem that I need help with is I want a baby desperately, but can't have ivf due yo my weight. "All" I need to do is loose weight ( and " helpful" people can't stop telling me their top diet tips ) but I'm getting bigger.... I seriously want a baby but keep eating in the same way a drug addict can't stop or am anorexic can't just have a bag of chips and get over it. The desperation and self loathing is making me unwell

CorbynsBumFlannel Sat 04-Nov-17 23:15:34

I also think that slightly overweight is the new normal now so being obese isn’t as atypical as being dangerously underweight.

mrbob Sat 04-Nov-17 23:15:47

I think in the same way that some people are extremely thin without having an eating disorder, some people are big without having an eating disorder. Then some people are anorexic/bulimic and some are compulsive over eaters. But I think medicine and science have VERY little concept of the reality of what goes on with weight. Some people eat not very much and are big, some eat crap all day and are slim. I think once you get to the level of morbid obesity (although that isn't even that huge) there are probably mental health issues involved but I am not sure if that is not a bit chicken and egg

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 04-Nov-17 23:17:05

Yes, I do, I think it is the flip-side of the same coin.

JeReviens Sat 04-Nov-17 23:17:32

Your title doesn't even make sense.

Did you mean 'Obesity is THE RESULT OF an eating disorder'?

If that's what you meant then yes.

I do hope you're not here to throw petrol on this ever-simmering badly disguised Fat Shaming pike of bollocks that's been so inexplicably popular recently.

Lucked Sat 04-Nov-17 23:18:17

I am overweight but not obese although left unchecked I could creep into obesity in a few years.

I do not have an eating disorder. Mostly it has been carelessness and lifestyle changes due to pregnancy and having a family. There is no compulsion, delusion or body dysmorphia. Yes I have some poor habits and a sweet tooth but no issues/anxiety with food.

That said it is obvious that some overweight people do have an eating disorder but in my opinion the majority don't.

pinkliquorice Sat 04-Nov-17 23:20:10


I am so sorry, that is horrible and I don’t know what I can say but I hope you feel/get better.
It is so wrong, at the other end of the scale because being underweight had meant my periods had stopped and I was at risk of becoming infertile I was given extensive support and treatment to get me to a healthy weight.
It should work the other way, absolutely.

Ceebs85 Sat 04-Nov-17 23:20:47


I work in mental health and have long long long been puzzled at how someoke with anorexia could be sectioned and treated against their will however someome who is so large they can't mobilise and are at extremely high risk of stroke/heart attack would not be.

I also don't understand how someone's capacity is questioned when they are starving themselves to death but not when someone is eating themself to death.

I also wonder about safeguarding. I strongly believe these people who get so big they are bed bound have eating disorders often. Yet for them to even maintain the weight they are someone needs to be bringing them that food. Its all so sad.

I'd also say I had an eating disorder and have since I was a teenager. My relationship with food/eating is hugely disordered and I'm morbidly obese. I've lost weight in the past but not managed to keep it all off. Strongly believe a lot of people would benefit from therapy in order to address such an unhealthy relationship. Much of weight loss and maintenance is a psychological issue.

Ttbb Sat 04-Nov-17 23:22:06

YABU. Obesity can be caused by eating disorders like binge eating but it isn't an eating disorder in itself and can result from other health conditions. Obesity merely means that a person is overweight outside of a healthy weight range end of. It in no way describes the causes of being the above or the mental state or eating habits of those who are obese.

pinkliquorice Sat 04-Nov-17 23:23:50


Yes maybe that title would of been better.

I am not fat shaming in the slightest, everyone regardless of their weight deserves respect.
But as a whole we all need to accept that just like being dangerously underweight, being obese is dangerous and not okay. We should not be normalising and accepting it.

JonSnowsWife Sat 04-Nov-17 23:24:47

Yes I do. But you'll have several self righteous types telling you it's all their own fault / they've got no control / they'd be fine if they just eat dust etc etc.

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