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OSFED – Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder

What is OSFED?

In previous editions of the DSM, anyone who presented with symptoms of an eating disorder that were not typical of one of the two primary eating disorders classifications (anorexia and bulimia) were diagnosed under the classification of EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).

OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder) is the DSM-5 classification replacing EDNOS given to a person who does not present with symptoms that would fall under the diagnostic criteria of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, avoidant/restrictive for intake disorder (ARFID), pica or rumination disorder.

Characteristics of OSFED

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, the following are some examples of presentations that would be given a diagnosis of OSFED:
  • Atypical anorexia nervosa (weight is not below normal).
  • Bulimia nervosa (with less frequent behaviors).
  • Binge-eating disorder (with less frequent occurrences).
  • Purging disorder (purging without binge eating).
  • Night-eating syndrome (excessive nighttime food consumption).

Individuals suffering from OSFED usually show very disturbed eating habits and an intense fear of weight gain. Physical signs may include weight loss, dehydration, a compromised immune system due to nutrient deficiency and amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual period) in females. Psychological signs can include a preoccupation with food and body shape. Some have a distorted body image. Dieting behaviors, eating food at unusual times, and compulsive exercising are also warning behavioral signs of OSFED.

Some people believe that OSFED is less serious than better known eating disorder classifications such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. However, in terms of eating pathology, physical complications and other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, OSFED poses risks every bit as serious.

Treatment Services For OSFED at Walden Behavioral Care

Walden is the only eating disorder treatment facility in New England that offers the full range of care for treating OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder), from intensive inpatient care to out-patient programs. By offering this complete continuum of treatment, we can not only meet the needs of all patients who require treatment, we can also change treatment to adapt to the patient’s needs as the patient progresses toward recovery. This approach encourages the patient to progress.

Walden is also the only facility in New England to offer OSFED treatment for patients as young as 12, of all genders. While young women continue to be the population most likely to need OSFED treatment, OSFED is a growing problem for males and young people, too.

Treatment services for OSFED at Walden include: