The answer to this question regarding the nature of ‘eating’ disorders is not a definition, but a history – in fact, three histories. One is a history of the body, and the mutable, ingenious, and sometimes self-destructive ways it searches for meaning, security, and power in the world. Another is the history of medical naming, categorization, and explanation, which has brought disordered eating under different diagnostic umbrellas, in accordance with prevailing medical models, but also stretching to accommodate the ever-shifting shape of the phenomena. And a third is a history of consumption in the socio-economic sense, which has produced and continues to nourish particular forms of disordered relations with food, body image, and the regulation of hunger and desire. These histories are not self-contained; they have partnered, struggled, reinforced and challenged each other – and human biology – over the centuries.