Research Topic

What do we know about Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders, Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorder and the other EXIAs (e.g. Orthorexia, Bigorexia, Drunkorexia, Pregorexia etc.)?

About this Research Topic

Based on DSM-5 more than 50% of all eating disorder (ED) patients are diagnosed with “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)” or “Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorders (UFED)”, two broad heterogeneous provisional diagnoses entailing a mixture of various ED symptoms. Within OSFED, a few more specific categories such as Purging Disorder (PD), Atypical Anorexia Nervosa, Night Eating Syndrome, and Subthreshold Bulimia/Binge Eating Disorder have been proposed, but research on these different entities is lacking. No such differentiation currently exists for UFED. On top of these residual DSM-5 diagnoses, other disordered eating problems such as Orthorexia, Bigorexia (Muscle Dysmorphia), Drunkorexia, and Pregorexia (An ED during pregnancy), have more recently received attention in the disordered eating/body image literature, but their formal recognition within an official classification system, such as the DSM-5, is currently lacking. In the current Research Topic, we will refer to these collectively as Exias. This is surprising, given the constant message from the literature that these problem sets are often as serious and debilitating as the official DSM-5 ED diagnoses of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder. Furthermore, treatment and prevention for OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs are poorly researched, ineffective, and costly.

This Research Topic aims to collect evidence from researchers and clinicians, who are engaged in research projects focused on the classification, risk assessment, and prevention/treatment of the above mentioned OSFED, UFED, and EXIA individuals. We welcome studies focusing on these ED presentations involving a range of populations, ranging from clinical, to non-clinical, across the age ranges and from numerous cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Specifically, we would like to understand how prevalent OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs are, whether they meet threshold severity to be included in the DSM, who is at risk of developing them, and what interventions are helpful for people suffering from these problem sets.

This collection of papers will act as a call for action in this field of research, hopefully integrating the expertise and interests of both researchers and clinicians to improve the classification, aetiological knowledge, and clinical care of patients living with OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs.

A range of methodological approaches is welcomed. Including (but not limited to) experimental, longitudinal (including micro-longitudinal), treatment and prevention studies.

Equally, a range of Article Types is encouraged, particularly: Original research, any review type (e.g. systematic, narrative, meta-analysis), Case studies, Methods, and Registered Reports.

These studies can focus on one or more of the following domains: classification, clinical presentation, behavior, genetics, cognition, socio-emotional skills, social-cognition, and neuroimaging.

Specific areas this topic aims to explore are:
• How prevalent are OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs in community and clinical settings? How are they representative amongst different age groups, countries, cultures, and ethnicities?

• How are OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs best classified?

• Are there gender differences in the presentation of OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs?

• What are the biological, neurocognitive, social, and environmental risk factors for OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs?

• What preventative and treatment modalities are effective for OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs?


Keywords: other specified feeding disorders, other specified eating disorders, EXIA, UFED, OSFED


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Based on DSM-5 more than 50% of all eating disorder (ED) patients are diagnosed with “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)” or “Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorders (UFED)”, two broad heterogeneous provisional diagnoses entailing a mixture of various ED symptoms. Within OSFED, a few more specific categories such as Purging Disorder (PD), Atypical Anorexia Nervosa, Night Eating Syndrome, and Subthreshold Bulimia/Binge Eating Disorder have been proposed, but research on these different entities is lacking. No such differentiation currently exists for UFED. On top of these residual DSM-5 diagnoses, other disordered eating problems such as Orthorexia, Bigorexia (Muscle Dysmorphia), Drunkorexia, and Pregorexia (An ED during pregnancy), have more recently received attention in the disordered eating/body image literature, but their formal recognition within an official classification system, such as the DSM-5, is currently lacking. In the current Research Topic, we will refer to these collectively as Exias. This is surprising, given the constant message from the literature that these problem sets are often as serious and debilitating as the official DSM-5 ED diagnoses of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder. Furthermore, treatment and prevention for OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs are poorly researched, ineffective, and costly.

This Research Topic aims to collect evidence from researchers and clinicians, who are engaged in research projects focused on the classification, risk assessment, and prevention/treatment of the above mentioned OSFED, UFED, and EXIA individuals. We welcome studies focusing on these ED presentations involving a range of populations, ranging from clinical, to non-clinical, across the age ranges and from numerous cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Specifically, we would like to understand how prevalent OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs are, whether they meet threshold severity to be included in the DSM, who is at risk of developing them, and what interventions are helpful for people suffering from these problem sets.

This collection of papers will act as a call for action in this field of research, hopefully integrating the expertise and interests of both researchers and clinicians to improve the classification, aetiological knowledge, and clinical care of patients living with OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs.

A range of methodological approaches is welcomed. Including (but not limited to) experimental, longitudinal (including micro-longitudinal), treatment and prevention studies.

Equally, a range of Article Types is encouraged, particularly: Original research, any review type (e.g. systematic, narrative, meta-analysis), Case studies, Methods, and Registered Reports.

These studies can focus on one or more of the following domains: classification, clinical presentation, behavior, genetics, cognition, socio-emotional skills, social-cognition, and neuroimaging.

Specific areas this topic aims to explore are:
• How prevalent are OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs in community and clinical settings? How are they representative amongst different age groups, countries, cultures, and ethnicities?

• How are OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs best classified?

• Are there gender differences in the presentation of OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs?

• What are the biological, neurocognitive, social, and environmental risk factors for OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs?

• What preventative and treatment modalities are effective for OSFED, UFED, and EXIAs?


Keywords: other specified feeding disorders, other specified eating disorders, EXIA, UFED, OSFED


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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