Eating Disorders in the Primary Care Setting

Prim Care. 2016 Jun;43(2):301-12. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2016.01.007.


Eating disorders are a complex set of illnesses most commonly affecting white adolescent girls and young women. The most common eating disorders seen in the primary care setting are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Treatment in the primary care environment ideally involves a physician, therapist, and nutritionist, although complex cases may require psychiatric and other specialist care. Early diagnosis and treatment are associated with improved outcomes, whereas the consequences of untreated eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa, can be devastating, including death.

Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Binge eating disorder; Bulimia nervosa; Eating disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires