Eating Disorders

Please scroll to the bottom to see the resource listing.

Eating disorders are incredibly prevalent and up to 90% of sufferers are young women.  It is estimated that eating disorders affect up to 5% of teenage girls.  Today both men and women are bombarded with unrealistic and unhealthy images in all sorts of media and unsurprisingly it is having an effect.

Body Image 


Anorexia sufferers starve themselves, sometimes past the point of emancipation.  In fact they might still perceive themselves as overweight even after they are too thin to be healthy.  It’s not unusual for there to be a massive hormonal imbalance, resulting in a loss of menstrual periods for women and impotence for men.  Quite often food becomes an obsession in some cases a fear of eating in public develops or the sufferer becomes obsessed with creating gourmet meals for family members without partaking themselves. 

To learn more about anorexia please click here.  



This is the most common eating disorder.  It is characterised by binging and purging.  Purging can take many forms, some sufferers force themselves to vomit, other abuse laxatives, take enemas, or exercise obsessively.  Many people maintain their body weight and purge in secret, making it difficult to detect.  Friends and family might not even notice that there is an issue.  Quite often anorexia develops into bulimia.  There are 4 different classifications of severity:

  • mild – an average of 1- 3 episodes a week.

  • moderate – an averaging of 4-7 episodes a week.

  • severe – an average of 8-13 episodes a week.

  • extreme – an average of 14 or more episodes a week.

To learn more about bulimia please click here.    

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is characterised by a regular compulsion to eat a much larger amount of food than needed.  Everyone over-indulges occasionally, binge eaters do so at least once a week and they feel out of control while they are doing it.  Often sufferers are ashamed and hide their behaviour.  Treatment generally focuses on psychotherapy and group therapy, the behaviours are unlikely to cease until the root cause is found. 

To learn more about binge eating disorder please click here.


St. Joseph's Healthcare

Eating Disorders Program

  • Provides support and guidance and treats individuals 16+ whom are suffering from an eating disorder and who are able to make independent change to their eating, activity and eating symptoms.
  • Offers comprehensive evaluation and proven treatments to help individuals with eating disorders that may include both psychological treatment and medications.
  • Physician referral only.

For family physicians wishing to refer a patient, please contact:
Seana Jackson-Brown, Intake Coordinator at 905-522-1155 ext. 33561
The referral form can be faxed to the physician’s office.

  • LOST, also known as Living Outside of Suffering and Trauma, is a peer led organisation that offers free services to mental health consumers.  These include regular drop-in peer support sessions, groups and talks for specific disorders, and Yoga.

L.O.S.T. is located at 148 Ottawa Street North.  You can reach them by calling Rebecca at 289-442-6428 or emailing at

McMaster Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder Program

Treatment for young people who have moderate to severe eating disorder symptoms.

  • Inpatient, day hospital and outpatient programs.
  • Physician’s referral is required.

A copy of the referral form is available at the link above. Completed referrals can be faxed to: 905-521-2349. Contact the clinical coordinator

Educational Resources

The Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders  

F.E.A.S.T.  Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders

Mood Disorders Anxiety Disorders Personality Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Schizophrenia Addiction
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Postpartum Mood Disorders Eating Disorders
Chronic Pain Suicide Prevention  

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