Eating disorders are psychological disorders that manifest themselves as disordered eating, causing harm to the body.

  • Anorexia nervosa- those suffering from this disorder have a distorted body image and think they look heavy even when they become extremely thin. Those with anorexia starve themselves in varying degrees causing significant weight-loss and in extreme cases causing death from malnutrition and low weight. Anorexia can lead to fragile bones and muscle loss that can make a person look like a skeleton, heart damage that can lead to heart attack and death, cessation of periods and ovulation, infections such as lung infections, skin damage that can manifest in flabby skin, wrinkles, dryness and change in skin tone, thinning of hair on the head and prevention of hair growth in other parts of the body, digestive problems, severe dehydration that harms the body's systems, and more.
  • Bulimia nervosa- those suffering from bulimia ingest large amounts of food in a short period of time and then cause themselves to purge it - primarily through vomiting but also through using laxatives, enemas, long fasts or excessive physical activity. The disease has extensive health implications, including the disruption of potassium balance in the body, teeth damaged by frequent contact with stomach acids, the risk of tears in the esophagus, and more. Loss of potassium can cause irregular heartbeat and heart attack.
  • Compulsive eating- those who suffer from this struggle with constant eating and binge eating, and most of them are obese.

The Health Care System

Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers

Psychiatric Hospitalization

  • Psychiatric Hospitalization can be either full hospitalization or a day patient program. Full hospitalization is for the more difficult and long lasting psychological disorders and are divide into 2 categories:
  • Voluntary hospitalization with the patient's consent.
  • Involuntary hospitalization against the patient's will.
  • In cases of minors (under age 18) suffering from anorexia: If psychiatric hospitalization (or treatment) is necessary and the minor or his/her parents are against it, there are legal options through which treatment can be forced by a court order. For more information see:

According to the recent court ruling, determining whether anorexia is considered a "mental health issue" and whether hospitalization can be forced is not clear cut and there is a professional and legal dispute on the issue (except in cases where a significant mental illness was diagnosed in addition to anorexia). In any event, the determination of whether this is a "mental health issue" is done according to the specific circumstances and the severity of the symptoms of the disease. It should be noted that the court ruling referred to cases where the sick person is an adult, and it is not clear whether this is also relevant to minors.

  • For more information about involuntary psychiatric hospitalization in cases of anorexia and for a list of treatment and hospitalization frameworks for eating disorders see the Ministry of Health website.


Benefits and Rehabilitation Basket

Children and Adolescents

  • Children and adolescents (up to age 18 and 3 months) that suffer from severe eating disorders may be eligible for a disabled child's benefit:
  • Someone who is in regular psychiatric treatment for a severe eating disorder is eligible for for a benefit of 50%.
  • Someone who has an uncontrollable urge to eat due to an organic disorder and chromosomal deficiency (such as a child with Prader-Wili syndrome) is eligible for a disabled child benefit of 100%.

Adults above Age 18

  • General Disability Pension:
  • Rehabilitation Basket:
  • Someone with an established medical disability (on the basis of mental health) of at least 40% may be eligible for a Rehabilitation Basket which includes aid in employment, living, education and more.
  • To receive the assistance a request should be submitted to the local rehabilitation committee.

Additional Benefits

Additional Information

Court Rulings

Aid Organizations

Government Agencies

Laws and Regulations

Additional Publications