Types of OSFED
Other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED) is an eating disorder diagnosis used to describe a variety of different disordered behaviors that don’t fit the diagnostic criteria for other eating disorder diagnoses. It’s a more general term than, say, anorexia or bulimia, but it’s not a catch-all that can be used for any harmful eating habits. While OSFED shows up in many different ways, it has its own specific diagnostic criteria, and knowing the forms it can take can help you identify it in yourself or a loved one.  Read on to learn about the different types of OSFED.
What is OSFED?
OSFED, or other specified feeding and eating disorder, is a term used to describe eating disorders that don’t align with the diagnostic criteria for other eating disorders. The criteria required for any eating disorder diagnosis, including OSFED, is outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Up until 2013, when the DSM-5 was published, the term EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) was used to describe what’s now known as OSFED. The two acronyms mean essentially the same thing. OSFED affects approximately 5% of the U.S. population. Despite being a more general term, OSFED is just as serious as other eating disorders. People with OSFED have the same risk of life-threatening complications as people with other eating disorders, and the same number of children are hospitalized with complications from OSFED as from bulimia or anorexia.
of the US population is affected by OSFED
5 types of OSFED
Unlike anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and ARFID, OSFED doesn’t have one particular set of symptoms. It varies from person to person, and one manifestation of OSFED can look completely different from another. However, there are a few specific subdiagnoses that fall under the OSFED umbrella that can be helpful to know about. 
OSFED includes conditions such as:
Atypical anorexia nervosa
Atypical anorexia is when a person exhibits all the symptoms of anorexia, such as a severely restricted food intake, without being underweight. At Equip, we treat atypical anorexia nervosa the same as anorexia nervosa, as they are equally dangerous and require the same care. 
Purging disorder
Purging, or forcing yourself to rid your body of the food that you just ate, is typically associated with bulimia, an eating disorder in which people purge after binge eating. In purging disorder, however, a person has recurrent episodes of purging without binge eating beforehand. Purging can take a number of different forms, including vomiting, laxative or diuretic misuse, and excessive exercise. 
Limited or infrequent binge eating
Binge eating, or consuming a large amount of food in a short period of time while feeling a loss of control, is a hallmark of binge eating disorder (BED). However, binges must occur at a certain frequency to meet diagnostic criteria for BED. If a person has recurrent binge episodes but not frequently enough to qualify for BED, they fall into this OSFED subcategory. 
Atypical anorexia nervosa
Bulimia is diagnosed based on how frequently someone has episodes of binge eating followed by purging. If someone experiences sporadic bulimia—or recurrent episodes of bingeing and purging that don’t happen frequently enough or for long enough to meet the diagnostic criteria for bulimia—they may be diagnosed with OSFED.
Night eating syndrome
Night eating syndrome refers to recurrent episodes of behaviors like binge eating at night, eating while asleep, and eating when you wake at night. These behaviors can’t be related to other mental illnesses or environmental factors.
Recovery is possible
If you’re struggling with one of the eating disorders above, or are experiencing disordered behaviors around food that don’t seem to match any diagnosis or subdiagnosis, don’t wait to get help. Every eating disorder requires professional treatment, regardless of which diagnostic box it fits into. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about Equip’s virtual eating disorder treatment or to schedule a free consultation.