Signs of Eating Disorders

Information on this page:
  • Common Eating Disorders
  • How to talk to someone you think might have an eating disorder
  • Resources on and off campus


One in four men in college suffer from an eating disorder.


Over one in three women in college suffer from an eating disorder.

Common Eating Disorders:

 Click the tabs on the right to read more about the signs and symptoms of the top eating disorders. To see a side-by-side comparison of the three, scroll down to the chart below. 

Between 0.9% and 2.0% of females and 0.1% to 0.3% of males will develop anorexia. 
  • Eating less than a healthy amount of food
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Excessive dieting
  • Extreme amounts of exercise
  • Prioritizing body image over other personality traits


Image result for anorexia graphics


Between 1.1% and 4.6% of females and 0.1% to 0.5% of males will develop bulimia.
  • Being preoccupied with your body shape and weight
  • Repeated episodes of eating huge quantities of food in one sitting
  • Feeling a loss of control — like you can’t stop eating or can’t control what you eat
  • Forcing yourself to vomit or exercising too much to keep from gaining weigh
  • Using laxatives, diuretics or enemas after eating when they’re not needed
  • Fasting, restricting calories or avoiding certain foods between binges
  • Using dietary supplements or herbal products excessively for weight loss


Between 0.2% and 3.5% of females and 0.9% and 2.0% of males will develop binge eating disorder.


  • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
  • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
  • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.

 Image result for binge eating disorder images

If You or a Friend Needs Help, Try These Resources

Do's and Don't's of discussing eating disorders with sufferers:

  • Having a conversation is the first step towards getting help!
  • Worried about a friend or family member? Watch the first video.
  • Worried about offending someone that may have an eating disorder? Watch the second video to learn some phrases to avoid.

Contact these on-campus resources if you are concerned about yourself or someone else:


Academic Support & Access Center: 202-885-3360

Counseling Center: 202-885-3500

Student Health Center: 202-885-3380

Health Promotion and Advocacy Center: 202-885-3275

Office of the Dean’s Care Network

If you think that someone needs help but do not feel comfortable reaching out to the resources above, the Dean’s Care Network is an annonymous way to find help.

Read about Olivia’s experience after her friends filed a care report in her name to the right. Thanks to this program, Olivia was able to get the care she needed to heal and move towards recovery. If a friend in your life needs help, they could benefit from the Care Network too. This service does not require a student to seek resourcces, it just provides them with on-campus individuals who are aware of their potential problems.

To learn more about this service or to send a care report, click the link below. 

I previously suffered from bulimia. I have received help and am in recovery. Last year, I lived in Cassell with five other girls and they began to noticed I spent a lot of time in the bathroom after eating. I was angry at my roommates for being concerned about my eating habits because I was in denial. My roommates were so worried they reported me to the Office of the Dean’s Care Network. At first, I was embarrassed, and I wish that they had had talked to me about making a change. But in the end, the Care Network was effective and helped me realize that I had more control over my health than I thought. Olivia

AU student


1. Anorexia nervosa. (n.d.). NEDA. Retreived Sept. 23, 2019 from 

2. Anorexia nervosa. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved Sept. 23, 2019 from

3. Eisenberg, D. et al. (2013). Eating disorder symptoms among college students: Prevlence, persistence, correlates, and treatment-seeking. J Am Coll Health, 59(8), 700-707. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2010.546461.

4. Images sourced from The Noun Project. Retireved Sept. 23, 2019 from

5. Bulimia nervosa. (n.d.). NEDA. Retreived Sept. 23, 2019 from

6. How to help a loved one (n.d.). NEDA. Retreived Sept. 23, 2019 from

7. AU Care Network. (n.d.). American University . Retrieved Sept. 23, 2019 from