What are atypical eating disorders?

James E. Mitchell, Richard L. Pyle, Dorothy K Hatsukami, Elke D Eckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


DSM-III includes a category of atypical eating disorder for patients with disordered eating who cannot be classified into other categories. The authors’ assessment of 25 such cases showed that they could be classified into three groups: (1) ten patients who engaged in vomiting and/or laxative abuse for weight control but did not binge-eat, (2) ten patients who were of low weight and who resembled patients with anorexia nervosa but did not meet current DSM-III criteria, and (3) five patients not further classifiable who formed a heterogeneous group. In the authors’ view, this suggests that anorexia nervosa and bulimia are not distinct diagnostic entities but areas on a continuum of eating problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986


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