Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) is a term used to describe eating disorders that do not meet the exacting diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. Individuals who have a significant, but less specific eating disorder are diagnosed with OSFED.

It is the most common eating disorder diagnosis. Warning signs and related medical/psychological conditions of OSFED are similar to, and just as severe as, those for the other eating disorders.

Signs & Symptoms

Examples of presentations that can be specified using the “other specified” designation include the following:

  • Atypical anorexia nervosa: All of the criteria for anorexia nervosa are met, except that despite significant weight loss, the individual’s weight is within or above the normal range.
  • Bulimia nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration): All of the criteria for bulimia nervosa are met, except that the binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors occur less often.
  • Binge-eating disorder (of low frequency and/or limited duration): All of the criteria for binge-eating disorder are met, except the binge eating occurs, on average, less than once a week and/or for less than 3 months.
  • Purging Disorder: Recurrent purging behavior to influence weight or shape (e.g., self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications) in the absence of binge eating.
  • Night eating syndrome: Recurrent episodes of night eating, as manifested by eating after awakening from sleep or by excessive food consumption after the evening meal. There is awareness and recall of the eating. The night eating is not better explained by external influences such as changes in the individual’s sleep-wake cycle or by local social norms. The night eating causes significant distress and/or impairment in functioning. The disordered pattern of eating is not better explained by binge-eating disorder or another mental disorder, including substance use, and is not attributable to another medical disorder or to an effect of medication.

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