Eating Disorders

People with eating disorders have a relationship with food that is physically and emotionally destructive to them.

They can display both physical and psychological symptoms, including negative attitudes towards food, weight and body shape. Low self-esteem is a common aspect of eating disorders, and people can experience anxiety and depression as part of their condition. There are three most common eating disorders.

Anorexia nervosa – People with anorexia severely restrict their food intake, and are often intensely afraid of weight gain and have low bodyweight. They may exercise excessively to compensate for any calories that they have consumed.

Bulimia – People with bulimia often binge on food, but then try to control their weight through making themselves sick or using laxatives to avoid keeping any food within their body. People often feel very guilty after binging. They may also exercise excessively or go through periods of fasting. This behaviour is not necessarily associated with low bodyweight.

Binge eating – People who binge eat overeat excessively but don’t use compensatory behaviours such as purging or excessive exercise to prevent weight gain.

Common behaviours
– skipping meals and/or not eating in public
– body dysmorphia (thinking you are bigger or smaller than you actually are)
– constantly weighing yourself
– anxious behaviour relating to eating habits or physical appearance

What you can do
If you are worried you may be experiencing any of the above then you should access support through your GP, our service or one of the support networks below.

SHU students can book an appointment on-campus with a SYEDA specialist without registering with Student Wellbeing. These confidential sessions provide a safe place to talk and get information about eating disorders, SYEDA and other services that can help.

Appointments run on 12 December, 6 February, 6 March, 10 April at Student Wellbeing, Level 1 Surrey Building, City Campus. Book an appointment here (appointments show 4 weeks in advance and places are limited). Download the leaflet here

External support agencies

Syeda is a regional charity that supports anyone affected by an eating disorder. Phone: 0114 2728822


Provides helplines, online support and a network of UK-wide self-help groups to help adults and young people in the UK beat their eating disorders  Helpline: 0845 634 1414


Anorexia and Bulimia Care provide on-going care, emotional support and practical guidance for anyone affected by eating disorders.   Phone: 03000 11 12 13


Seed | Eating Disorder Support ServiceWe are a group of ordinary people with firsthand experience of eating disorders, who make a difference to those people whose lives are blighted by this devastating illness.


Men Get Eating Disorders Too

‘Men Get Eating Disorders Too’ seeks to raise awareness of eating disorders in men so men are able to recognise their symptoms and access support when they need it.


Includes a page with information on eating disorders and how hypnotherapy can help. Note, there is likely to be a fee for hypnotherapy sessions, so check before committing to see someone.