Other Specified Eating and Feeding Disorder (OSFED)

What is OSFED?
Symptoms of OSFED
Signs and symptoms of OSFED
Health consequences of OSFED
Facts about OSFED

What is OSFED?

Other Specified Eating and Feeding Disorder (OSFED, pronounced ahs-fed) was previously known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). The category was developed to encompass those individuals who did not meet strict diagnostic criteria for the other eating disorders but still had a significant eating disturbances. 

Subcategories of OSFED

The following are some common subtypes of OSFED:

  • Atypical Anorexia Nervosa: All criteria are met for anorexia nervosa, except despite significant weight loss, the individual’s weight is within or above the normal range.
  • Diabulimia: In diabetic persons, the purposeful restriction of insulin in order to lose weight.
  • Orthorexia: An obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating.
  • Purging Disorder: Recurrent purging behavior to influence weight or shape in the absence of binge eating.
  • Night Eating Syndrome: Recurrent episodes of night eating. Eating after awakening from sleep, or by excessive food consumption after the evening meal. The behavior is not better explained by environmental influences, social norms, or another mental health disorder. The behavior causes significant distress/impairment. 
  • Binge Eating Disorder of low frequency and/or limited duration: All of the criteria for binge eating disorder are met, except at a lower frequency and/or for less than three months.
  • 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 behavior occurs at a lower frequency and/or for less than three months.

Signs and symptoms of OSFED

The signs of OSFED can vary greatly, and often look similar to anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, depending on what specific OSFED behaviors are present.

Health consequences of OSFED

The health consequences of OSFED depend in part on which eating disordered behaviors are being used. It is important to recognize that OSFED is as serious as other eating disorders and should not be trivialized or underestimated. Health consequences of OSFED can be difficult to pinpoint, as it includes a number of conditions.

Watch out for all of the signs already listed. The most important thing to look out for is attitudes about food and weight that conflict with a productive, satisfying life.

Facts about OSFED

  • Children hospitalized for OSFED had just as many medical complications as children hospitalized for anorexia nervosa.
  • Adults with ‘atypical’ or ‘subclinical’ anorexia and/or bulimia scored just as high on measures of eating disorder thoughts and behaviors as those with DSM-diagnosed anorexia and bulimia.
  • People with OSFED were just as likely to die as a result of their eating disorder as people with anorexia or bulimia.

Take the Eating Disorder Self-Test to find out if you might have an eating disorder like OSFED.

Please reach out for help and support.

If you think you are or someone you care about is struggling with OSFED, contact us here or click below to schedule an appointment online.