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She was only there for a routine check-up, but her palms were sweating.

She kept trying to wipe her hands on her tissue paper gown but they would just stick. Clipboard in hand, her physician entered with a smile. “Let’s get you weighed and measured.” Giardino leapt down from the table and padded over to the scale.

She held her breath and sucked in her stomach, waiting to see if her physician’s face would fall into a frown.

She anxiously envisioned a scenario in which her doctor would be forced to confront her about the possibility of having an eating disorder. Now let’s check your blood pressure.” For the rest of the appointment, Giardino found herself in a hazy stupor.

All Giardino could think about was that she still wasn’t thin enough.

If a medical professional couldn’t tell that she had an eating disorder, then surely she must have not been trying hard enough to shed pounds. Now a 22-year-old graduate student of social work at SUNY Albany, Giardino is one of an estimated thirty million Americans who have struggled with an eating disorder.

OSFED is very similar to EDNOS in the sense that both are just “other” categories where patients who do not meet all of the criteria for a bulimia or anorexia diagnoses fall.

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A lot of people don’t think a chubby girl can have an eating disorder.This phenomenon, which Schaefer and Thomas coin “almost anorexia,” is just as legitimate as a full-blown eating disorder in their eyes.When Schaefer was first diagnosed with an eating disorder after graduating from college, she fell under what was then the EDNOS category.While this is half the percentage of EDNOS diagnoses, eating disorder advocates believe there is much more work to be done.Jenni Schaefer, National Recovery Advocate of Eating Recovery Center’s Family Institute, wants to put forth a method of treatment that cares for patients as the unique individuals they are, rather than treating them according to still-rigid diagnostic categories.

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