There’s no one way of telling if you or someone you know has an unhealthy attitude to food. There are some indicators that might in isolation or combination point towards a less than healthy attitude (see below). But this is not an exhaustive list and some people with an unhealthy relationship with food may never identify with any of these. But they would be outliers as most of the rest of us who view food as pleasurable, exciting and imperative will not experience anything on this list ever.

Reasons for developing the poor attitude to food are always the place to start, these can sometimes go back years and be ingrained in the fibre that makes up our persona so often require a specialist to help work through. Often the result of weight loss is a control mechanism when so much else seems uncontrollable and often the individual wont see their physical self in the same way that the rest of us do (body dysmorphia).

So here is the list, and remember these people need our support and understanding not chastising and patronising, there are demons at work here…

  1. Skipping meals
  2. Complaining of constipation or stomach pain
  3. Food obsessed but not eating
  4. Weight fluctuations
  5. Rigid meal plans and food rituals
  6. Bizarre food combinations
  7. Fixation on clean eating
  8. Lack of menstruation
  9. Going to the bathroom after meals
  10. Excessive exercise
  11. Not eating in front of others
  12. Use of laxatives, diuretics or diet pills
  13. Disappearance of a large amount of food in a short period of time
  14. Hiding food or food wrappers in strange places
  15. Wearing baggy clothes