Diagnostic criteria for Eating Disorders DSM V


Anorexia nervosa


  • Because of the low energy supply, the body weight is below the average weight for the respective gender, age, development and below the weight that should be expected considering the state of health.
  • Behind the low body weight is the fear of gaining weight and the idea of getting fat.
  • Those affected have a body schema disorder as well as a disorder in the perception of their low body weight.


To assess the low body weight, the body mass index is used and the extent of anorexia nervosa is divided into:


  • mild (BMI ≥ 17)
  • moderate (BMI 16-16.99)
  • severe (BMI 15-15.99)
  • extreme (BMI <15)


In the DSM-5, a distinction is made between a full form, in which all criteria are met, and a partial form, in which not all criteria are met.



We distinguish between two types of anorexia:


Restrictive type


During the current episode of anorexia nervosa, the person does not have regular “binge eating” or has not shown “purging” behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enema).


“Binge eating / purging” type


During the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has “binge eating” and “purging” behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enema).



Bulimia Nervosa


  • Recurring episodes of binge eating. An eating attack is characterized by the following two characteristics:
    • Eating a large amount of food in a period of time (e.g. 2 hours) that is significantly larger than what most people would eat under a similar condition
    • Having the feeling of losing control of the eating behavior during the episode
  • Repeated use of inappropriate compensatory measures to prevent weight gain (e.g., fasting, vomiting, abuse of laxatives or diuretics, excessive exercise)
  • Binge eating and inappropriate compensatory measures occur on average at least once a week for three months
  • Self-perception is inappropriately influenced by figure and weight
  • The disorder does not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia nervosa (in which case it is anorexia nervosa: bulimic type).



Binge eating disorder


  • At least one binge eating attack per week for at least three months
  • Suffering as a result of binge eating
  • No compensatory measures are taken
  • During the binge eating: Loss of control and consuming a large amount of food
  • In addition, at least three of the following symptoms must occur:
    • Hasty eating (“gobble”)
    • Eating until feeling very full
    • Eating large amounts of food without being physically hungry
    • Eating alone (out of shame)
    • After the binge eating: self-disgust, feelings of guilt and / or depression.