Although people with bulimia also presents an obsession with thinness, it is characterized by the disorganization of the rhythm of eating. People with bulimia alternate between periods of uncontrollable overeating where they intake huge amounts of food that they usually consider as forbidden (binge eating) and compensatory behaviors aimed at controlling weight.

These moments when the person overrates are usually triggered either by interpersonal tension, a feeling of intense hunger following a period of restriction, or thoughts of appearance and weight.

This behavior is usually unconsciously used to provide a temporary relief from internal discomfort, a feeling of refuge or comfort. However, after eating this forbidden food or from eating too much, a strong feeling of guilt or shame, as well as depressive feelings may appear. In order to deal with these feelings, the person will feel the urge to get the control back and will use a compensatory method such as: vomiting, taking a laxative, diuretic or natural health product, restricting their diet or to induce excessive physical exercise.

  • In Italy the incidence of bulimia increases by 12 new cases per year per 100,000 inhabitants among women and by 0.8 new cases per year per 100,000 inhabitants among men.
  • In the US over half of people with bulimia suffer from anxiety, and one out of ten struggles with substance abuse disorder.
  • 4% of European women between 16 and 35 years old suffer from bulimia.