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UPMC Center for Eating Disorders

Do you or someone you love struggle with healthy eating and body image? Eating disorders happen to people of all ages — from young children to older adults.

Eating disorders involve complex and damaging relationships with food, eating, medicines like diet pills or laxatives, excessive exercise, and body image. They are serious and potentially life-threatening physical and mental health conditions. Genetics, social pressures, and personal experiences can play a part in how you perceive food and eating. It’s important to know that with help, you can get back control of your health.

Symptoms of an eating disorder can negatively affect all aspects of your life — not just your physical health. They can also affect your relationships, ability to perform at school or work, and even socialize.

People with eating disorders often have:

  • Abnormal / unusual eating patterns or dieting behaviors.
  • Obsessive thoughts about food, body shape, or weight.
  • Mental health issues, like depression or anxiety.

About the UPMC Center for Eating Disorders

The UPMC Center for Eating Disorders is built on more than 50 years of research. It is one of few eating disorder programs in the country connected to a major academic center. The center brings together experts from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, and UPMC Western Behavioral Health.

We help men and women, boys and girls. We offer appropriate programs for adults (over the age of 18) and children (age 8 to 18).

  • Adults with eating disorders receive care at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital.
  • Pediatric eating disorder services for children and teens are based at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
The eating disorder experts at UPMC Center for Eating Disorders can evaluate and treat your problem. They include doctors, psychologists, nurses, dietitians, therapists, and other mental and behavioral health professionals.

Programs for Adults

Your treatment is customized for you. Your treatment team will determine which level of care is best for you at each stage of care. This can include inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient program, and outpatient therapy. Group and family therapy sessions are an important part of treatment.

Inpatient Treatment

If you are severely underweight or require medical stabilization, the hospital is the only place to give you the help you need. The UPMC Center for Eating Disorders is one of only a few psychiatric inpatient programs in the country dedicated to eating disorders and the only inpatient program of its kind in western Pennsylvania.

Our licensed psychiatric inpatient unit at UPMC Western serves patients of all ages who need help because of:

Partial Hospitalization Program

Our partial hospitalization program is for adults who don’t need to be in the hospital for treatment but still need serious support. One of the goals of partial hospitalization is to help you establish nutritional stability. This program meets 5 days a week, 5 hours each day.

It helps people who:

  • Need close monitoring and supervised meals.
  • Have failed to benefit from less intensive care.
  • Are acutely ill but do not need to be in the hospital full-time.
  • Need continued care to help maintain the progress you made during inpatient hospitalization.

You’ll meet in your group daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to:

  • Eat breakfast and lunch together and have a snack in the afternoon.
  • Get coaching from experts in eating disorders on things like putting a meal together and meals for the weekends.
  • Get care from a team of psychiatrists, therapists, nurse practitioners, and dietitians.
  • Meet weekly with a registered dietitian to understand food choices and health.

Because eating disorders may cause medical problems, there is always medical support on your team.

Intensive Outpatient Program for Adults

When you return to work or school, you will still need structured therapy to continue your recovery. Our intensive outpatient program requires a 9-hour per week commitment. You’ll meet 3 evenings a week for 3-hour sessions.

Our intensive outpatient program offers adults:

  • Care from experts in mental health and eating disorders.
  • Group and one-on-one therapy.
  • Supervised meals.

Outpatient Clinic for Adults

The outpatient clinic helps adults who need help with their eating disorder but not at a level that requires treatment daily or multiple times each week.

At your first , you’ll talk with a clinical psychiatrist who will assess your condition and determine whether you would benefit from medicines.

In our outpatient clinic, you’ll:

  • Get nutritional counseling from a registered dietitian.
  • Take part in one-on-one and group therapy.
  • Participate in family therapy, which is crucial for people with eating disorders.

Programs for Children and Adolescents

If your child needs medical care for an eating disorder, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has a brief medical stabilization and refeeding program. Contact UPMC Children's Behavioral Health with questions about this program at 412-692-5100.

Services for Kids & Youths with Eating Disorders (SKYE)

The SKYE program offers family-based therapy (FBT) designed for pediatric eating disorders. It’s based on the successful evidence-based outcomes of the Maudsley method, which began in England more than 40 years ago. In FBT, immediate family members are asked to play an active and primary role in treatment.

SKYE specializes in serving the unique needs of children and adolescents with eating disorders who are between ages 8 and 18. Our team of mental and behavioral health professionals provides evaluation and treatment services.

Interactive sessions for families are offered at:

Bellefield Towers
100 N Bellefield Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

To schedule a meeting with SKYE staff to discuss your child’s eating disorder or treatment need, complete the online form at

For general questions about our SKYE Program, call 412-246-6390

Need Help for Yourself or Someone You Love With an Eating Disorder? Contact Us

For a mental health emergency, call 988.

To learn more about our adult eating disorders programs, call our main phone number at 1-877-624-4100 or 412-624-1000.

To learn more about our eating disorders program for children and adolescents, call 412-246-6390.

Are you a resident of Allegheny County and in crisis?

Call our resolve Crisis Services at 1-888-796-8226. It’s free and open 24/7.

Or go to the resolve Crisis Services walk-in clinic:

333 North Braddock Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide or self-harm:

Text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or call 800-273-8255.