Subtle Signs of Eating Disorders

Worried your loved one may be at risk for anorexia or bulimia? These warning signs can help you spot a problem.
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Fixating on 'safe' foods

A preoccupation with foods deemed to be "safe" or "healthy" is the hallmark of a condition that has come to be known as orthorexia. Although not an official diagnosis, orthorexia can sometimes be a stepping-stone to full-blown anorexia nervosa, Bulik says.

Although people with orthorexia tend to focus on the quality of food and people with anorexia tend to focus on quantity, the two conditions sometimes overlap. Some people with anorexia, for instance, have a very limited diet and prefer to eat the same foods over and over. "When people are going down the path toward an eating disorder, one of the early signs is cutting out foods they used to like, or even entire food groups," Bulik says.

Next: Eating rituals

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