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Eating disorders have historically been associated with straight, young, white females, but in reality, they affect people from all demographics and they are not caused by any single factor.  They arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, biological, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors. Research suggests that eating disorders disproportionately impact some segments of LGBT populations, though there is much research still to be done on the relationships between sexuality, gender identity, body image and eating disorders.

The myriad of unique stressors LGBT-identified people experience, such as coming out and harassment in schools or the workplace, can impact levels of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse - all of which are common co-occurring conditions and can be contributing factors in the development of an eating disorder. Eating disorders among LGBT populations should be understood within the broader cultural context of oppression.


Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder usually characterized by periods of binging—or excessive overeating—followed by purging. People with bulimia have a fear of gaining weight; however, that does not mean all people with bulimia are underweight. Some people with bulimia are overweight or obese. They attempt to use purging to manage their weight or prevent additional weight gain. Bulimia nervosa is a serious mental illness that requires intensive treatment. Getting help for your bulimia gives you the best chance to overcome this eating disorder.


A person with bulimia might eat more than 2,000 calories in one sitting and then induce vomiting. Vomiting, however, is not the only method of purging. Excessive exercise, laxative use, enemas, fasting or a combination of purging methods are common alternatives to vomiting. People who binge without purging often receive the diagnosis of binge eating disorder. Anorexia Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological and possibly life-threatening eating disorder defined by an extremely low body weight relative to stature (this is called BMI [Body Mass Index] and is a function of an individual’s height and weight), extreme and needless weight loss, illogical fear of weight gain, and distorted perception of self-image and body.

Additionally, women and men who suffer from anorexia nervosa exemplify a fixation with a thin figure and abnormal eating patterns. Anorexia nervosa is interchangeable with the term anorexia, which refers to self-starvation and lack of appetite.


There are two common types of anorexia, which are as follows:

  • Binge/Purge – The individual suffering from this type of eating disorder, will purge when he or she eats. This is typically a result of the overwhelming feelings of guilt a sufferer would experience in relation to eating; they compensate by vomiting, abusing laxatives, or excessively exercising.

  • Restrictive – In this form, the individual will fiercely limit the quantity of food consumed, characteristically ingesting a minimal amount that is well below their body’s caloric needs, effectively slowly starving him or herself.


Body Image (Bana Windsor)

Eating Disorders (Canadian Mental Health Association)
Eating Disorders In Canada (National Eating Disorder Information Centre)
LGBT and Eating Disorders (Bana Windsor)
Male and Eating Disorders (Bana Windsor)
Social Media Tips & Tricks (Bana Windsor)




1500 Ouellette Avenue, Suite 100, Windsor ON, N8X 1K7
Phone: 519-969-2112 

The Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association (BANA) is a not-for-profit, registered charity, community-based organization servicing the counties of Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton in Ontario, Canada. Since 1983, we’ve been committed to the provision of specialized treatment, education and support services for individuals affected directly and indirectly by eating disorders.

1400 Windsor Avenue, Windsor, Ontario N8X 3L9
Phone: 519-255-7440
CMHA Windsor Essex is the lead provider and advocate of specialized community mental health and addiction services integrated with comprehensive primary health care services.


1770 Langlois Ave. , Windsor, ON, N8X4M5
Phone: 519-966-5010

We provide counselling and support services to help individuals, couples and families manage their daily lives.  We help people deal with a wide range of challenges, from arising issues, to past events, as well as injustices such as trauma, poverty, disabilities, exclusion and discrimination. We provide strategies to resolve conflicts, address personal problems and help people live their lives independently in the community. 

Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Kids Help Phone is Canada's only national 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counselling, web counselling and referral service for children and youth. Our service is completely anonymous and confidential - we don't trace calls, we don't have call display.


Phone: 1-800-268-9688

LGBT YouthLine is a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit* youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario. We do this by providing anonymous peer support and referrals; training youth to provide support to other youth; and providing resources so youth can make informed decisions.

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