Eating disorders. I want to tell you three things about them. Anorexia and Bulimia aren’t the only ones, they’re everywhere and we don’t know nearly enough about them.

Read on for some of the most obscure eating disorders that exist and you might discover you know someone who has ’em!

1. Anthropophagy

Anthropophagy is another term for cannibalism

Now, this is a pretty solid no-no in ‘civilised’ society, but there are remote tribes around the world that practise it. There is also a small percentage of people who live in modern societies who identify as cannibals and occasionally will seek out willing participants who will let them eat small fatty parts of their bodies.

Megaboom Radio

2. Orthorexia

Orthorexics have an unhealthy obsession with eating only and very healthy foods

I know, it sounds like a pretty great condition, but it makes one cautious about organic and what they see as pure foods to such an extent that it can overtake their lives and impede on their eating habits.


3. Chewing And Spitting

A person suffering from this chews their food and spits it out to cut back on calories and fat intake

Another avatar of anorexia, this is for people who like food and don’t necessarily want to cut it out all together, but who also don’t want to feel the guilt of eating.

Serious Eats

4. Pica

People who live with pica have an obsessive compulsive feeling to eat non-food items such as dirt, chalk, paint, soap, or even cigarette butts

Not only is pica an eating disorder, it is also a mental health issue.

Huffington Post

5. Bigorexia or Muscle Dysmorphia

People suffering from it often do as much as they can to create abnormal muscle gain.

Sometimes called reverse anerexia nervosa, muscle dymorphia is the obsession that one isn’t muscular enough to meet their own or someone else’s standard of fitness, believing his or herself to be too skinny. Their diets are extremely limited and unhealthy for their sizes and workout routines.

Bro Science

6. Xylophagia

Imagine suffering from a compulsion to eat wood. That’s what xylophagics suffer from

Kids do often ingest such items, however an adult known to commonly ingest pencils, paper, or bark off trees can be diagnosed with Xylophagia.

Dempsey’s Resolution Fitness

7. Night Eating Syndrome

Night eating syndrome sufferers delay their food intake until the late evening, or have a habit of waking up in the middle of the night to eat

These people aren’t necessarily binge eaters, but at times believe that before they’re able to sleep, or get back to sleep, they have to eat something.

Huffington Post

8. Trichophagia

People with trichophagia eat hair

In a severe case of the disorder, one has to undergo surgery to remove large hair ball blockages that get stuck in the intestines, causing major health issues while making it impossible for food to be digested.


9. Urophagia

The drinking of urine is diagnosed as urophagia

This doesn’t mean that a person drinks their own pee – they may drink others as well.

Above The Law

10. Geophagy

Geophagy sufferers have a preference for the taste of earth

They eat dirt, clay, chalk, and mud. The condition could cause serious infections because at times animal feces can be in any of those substances and people can become sick from parasites and bugs.

Treasured Canine

11. Coprophagia

Coprophagia describes people who eat feces

Yep, poop. This disorder is extremely rare in humans, but not impossible.

Live Science

12. Dermatillomania

This is the eating of skin picked off from one’s body

A control disorder, Dermatillomania is a condition where a person repeatedly and almost continuously picks at their skin. Some people with dermatillomania go a step further and eat what they pick off, including dead skin and scabs.


13. Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder gives one a distorted view of the reality of themselves

While this disorder isn’t relegated specifically to diet, the effect can have an impact on someone’s eating habits. A morphed body image would lead one to take on diets and exercises that their body cannot handle.

Doctor Oz

14. Anorexia Athletica

A person with anorexia athletica is obsessed with compulsive exercising

These people may look as if they love all things fitness, but the underlying theme between them and a person who likes to hit the gym frequently is that it has a negative impact on their day to day activities, work, and relationships.

Dr. Maria Luque

15. Selective Eating Disorder

This can sometimes lead people to thinking that it’s just a case of someone being a ‘picky eater’

However, many suffering with SED believe that there is only a finite amount of foods that they can eat. “People who are picky aren’t doing this just to be stubborn,” said eating researcher Nancy Zucker of Duke University, to Live Science. “Extremely picky eaters experience food differently than the rest of us.”

Little Rock

16. Binge-Eating Disorder

This is an eating disorder characterised by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort)

Binges are usually accompanied by a feeling of a loss of control, shame, distress or guilt afterwards.


Betcha didn’t see some of those coming!