Bulimia Nervosa

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bulimia: uncontrolled episodes of eating (bingeing) usually followed by self-induced vomiting (purging)

eating disorder: behavioral disorder involving excess consumption, avoidance of consumption, self-induced vomiting, or other food-related aberrant behavior binge: uncontrolled indulgence

A clinical diagnosis of bulimia nervosa requires that the behavior occur at least two times a week for a minimum of three months. SEE ALSO Addiction, Food; Anorexia Nervosa; Binge Eating; Body Image; Eating Disorders; Eating Disturbances.

Karen Ansel

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by frequent episodes of binge eating, which are followed by purging to prevent weight gain. During these incidents, unusually large portions of food are consumed in secret, followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or diuretic and laxative abuse. Although the types of food chosen may vary, sweets and high-calorie foods are commonly favored. Bulimic episodes are typically accompanied by a sense of a loss of self-control and feelings of shame.


American Dietetic Association (1998). Nutrition Intervention in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Chicago: Author.

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. Washington, DC: Author.

Escott-Stump, Sylvia, and Mahan, L. Kathleen (1996). Krause's Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy, 9th edition. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.

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Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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