Help and reference line 1 800 630-0907 514 630-0907
Help and reference line 1 800 630-0907 514 630-0907

Unspecified eating disorders

Unspecified eating disorders include problems that don’t meet the criteria of specific eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or bulimic hyperphagia. Despite this, people suffering from unspecified eating disorders can also suffer from low self-esteem and an obsession with body image. They may count calories, follow weight loss diets, adopt extreme training regimens, etc. It’s important to note that these problems are just as serious as other types of eating disorders. 


Bigorexia, or muscular dysmorphia, is characterised by the feeling of being too skinny or never muscular enough. It is also called megarexia or reverse anorexia. Bigorexia is an eating disorder more commonly experienced by men and by very athletic people. A person suffering from bigorexia might follow strict dietary guidelines, work out a lot or too much, and take supplements. Feelings of shame and guilt are present when the person concerned is unable to follow their intense training and dietary regimens. Other activities, hobbies, and moments of relaxation are put aside in favour of working out.


Orthorexia is characterised by an obsession with eating healthily. The person suffering from orthorexia will put a lot of energy into their choice of food and how it is prepared. Generally, nutritional value is put first, and the pleasure of eating comes second. People suffering from orthorexia might also suffer from social isolation due to the extremes they will go to in order to apply their intense eating habits. 

Book list recommendation

It is not always easy to understand the complexity of the eating disorders. The recovery process needs time and may be challenging for people living with the illness. It may also bring many emotions for the loved ones. Being informed allow a better understanding of this illness and its issues.

ANEB suggest a book list which is addressed for those suffering from an eating disorder, for their loved ones, as well as for the counsellors who may want to understand the problem. Reading some testimonials from people who have recovered from an eating disorder is also suggested.

Download this document to read our recommendations. The document offers suggestions in French and English.