Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Eating Disorders Await DSM Classification

A new study on eating habits has identified two new eating disorders, Adult Selective Eating and Orthorexia.

The first disorder, Adult Selective Eating (ASE) is an adult picky eater that limits their diet to a very narrow range of foods. This is a phenomenon that has been known about for some time, but has only recently been considered a specific disorder. People suffering from this disorder have been featured on the TLC show ‘Freaky Eaters.’ The show features one of the most common forms of ASE treatment, “learning assertiveness skills andsystematically trying new foods.

The second disorder, Orthorexia, is an obsession with healthy eating. An extreme form of anorexia, orthorexia also stems from a need for control. Sufferers take healthy eating far beyond its intention, refusing to eat little more than small portions of fruits or vegetables. Like Selective Eating Disorder, orthorexia appears to add a twist to obsessive compulsive behavior.

To date, neither disorder has been added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) presented by the American Psychiatric Associations. Once a disorder is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual they are typically covered by health insurance, but until that occurs, neither disorder is qualified to receive insurance coverage. Though considered the end-all guide for mental disorders, some controversy has surrounded the book, as some psychologists refute the idea that all mental disease sufferers can be simply categorized.


Pam Argeris is a thought leader in the Healthcare Industry and possesses extensive, hands-on experience with CMS compliance, and multiple regulatory bodies such as NCQA, JACHO, and DOI. In her role at Merrill Corp., Pam focuses on developing solutions for compliance and quality assurance, delivered in a cost effective manner to improve beneficiary and prospect communications. You can contact Pam at

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