Food is an important part of our lives and choosing a healthy diet can have a very positive effect on our physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Whilst eating habits can be fluid – sometimes we eat more, sometimes less, we have cravings and we go off things – by and large we manage to eat what we need and it’s quite normal to vary our habits.

Of course, feeling a bit nervous before a specific event – an interview or presentation perhaps – might put us off breakfast. Finding a forgotten bit of Christmas or Easter chocolate might entice us to have an indulgent film night on the sofa, and if we enjoy cooking, we’re bound to spend time thinking about it, but that’s all part of a normal and understandable relationship with food.

Sometimes however, this relationship can become difficult. We have to think about food, if for no other reason than to choose what to eat when we’re hungry – but if food and eating feels like it’s taking over our life then it may become a problem. Regardless of weight, gender or age, anyone can be affected.

Eating problems, can manifest in various ways. People might eat in secret, eat more or less than they need, feel anxious about eating, eat to try blot out emotions rather than hunger, impose rigid diet rules, purge themselves, or even feel scared of food, just to name some.

An eating problem becomes an eating disorder when it has a medical diagnosis based on BMI, blood and weight. Both are very hard to live with.

If the relationship with food and eating is affecting your life, then support to help you through the underlying issues and to develop healthy eating patterns, is there.