Movies About Eating Disorders
Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are becoming more and more prevalent in our modern society. There are several movies that involve eating disorders and detail what the disease is like in different people. Some detail the disease and it's progression, while others detail eating disorder treatment. Here are some films that cover eating disorder in a variety of different ways.
To the Bone
This recent Netflix film focuses on an older girl struggling with anorexia. This movie mostly revolves around her time at a treatment center as she works on recovery.
A Secret Between Friends (aka When Friendship Kills)
This eating disorder movie from 1996 details the relationship between two friends as they encourage each other to achieve weight loss through dangerous means. This movie puts the spotlight on both anorexia and bulimia.
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
This is a great little independent movie about the life of Karen Carpenter. It is really unique, as instead of people acting, the movie is done with Barbie dolls. This is a very real and brutal account of Karen's battle with anorexia nervosa. This indie film was banned due to the fact that the creator used songs by The Carpenter's without requesting permission.
The Best Little Girl in the World
Based on a book, The Best Little Girl in the World follows a young girl who tries to lose weight for her ballet class. She quickly spirals into a state of anorexia, and ends up needing hospitalization in order to stay alive.
This is a newer movie focusing on a woman's descent into anorexia after going through difficult periods in her life and loss. This movie is a more realistic in its portrayal of working towards recovery.
For the Love of Nancy
For the Love of Nancy is based on the true story of a young woman suffering from anorexia nervosa. This movie highlights the fact that people with severe eating disorders can be taken to court in order to put them in the care of a guardian.
Thin is a documentary about eating disordered patients who are in residential treatment at Renfew. This documentary gives an inside look into life living with an eating disorder and what it is like to be in treatment. A variety of patients are featured, including young women and adults.
Little Miss Perfect
This 2016 film focuses on a high school freshman, who develops anorexia after becoming overwhelmed with her role as a high schooler. This film features the online world of 'pro-ana'.
This unique Mexican film focuses on a few different women who struggle with eating disorders in different ways, such as self-starvation and exercise bulimia. The film presents women from varied backgrounds as well.
This is another movie from the '90s about eating disorders that involves athletics. In this case, a young gymnast who has high Olympic hopes is pressured to lose weight by her coach and develops anorexia and bulimia.
Starving in Suburbia
This is a more recent film from Lifetime that goes into the world of pro-ana websites and how thinspiration and encouragement from other people can keep someone isolated in their illness. For a more modern picture of eating disorders, this is a good one to watch.
The Karen Carpenter Story
Another movie about the life of Karen Carpenter, this 1989 movie goes through the various stages of The Carpenter's career, focusing on Karen's struggle with anorexia. This movie is much lighter than Superstar.
Kate's Secret is one of the more unique eating disorder movies. It follows Kate, an adult woman with a family who struggles with bulimia nervosa. This is an important eating disorder movie that demonstrates how adults can suffer from anorexia and bulimia as well. It is not a disorder than only affect teens, and it is not a disorder that someone just "grows out of". It also shows what an eating disorder clinic was like before eating disorders were well understood.
Sharing the Secret
This movie focuses mainly on bulimia. A young girl is struggling to cope with the divorce of her parents by using food and binging and purging. This is one of the more realistic eating disorder movies out there, and it really portrays how bulimia can take over someone's life.
This is another movie based on a book. It features two sisters who are struggling with an overly controlling mother. The book is different than the movie, but the movie does have a heavy focus on eating disorders, including the pro aspect of anorexia.
My Skinny Sister
This film is about the affect of eating disorders of family members, especially siblings. From the viewpoint of a younger sister, we can see how people without eating disorders are affected when their loved ones are struggling. Again, competitive sports/arts come into play in this movie.
Dying to Dance
Dying to Dance is another movie featuring eating disorders and the world of ballet. The main character is accepted into a ballet company after school, but feels pressured to lose weight in order to be the best dancer.
Movies about eating disorders can help to educate the public and help people suffering from them not as alone. If you know of any other movies that belong on this list, leave a comment!