The behavioural, psychological and demographic characteristsics of a sample of 169 patients presenting to a speciality eating disorder outpatient clinic are described. While disturbances of weight control involving restrictive eating are common within the sample, overeating and behaviours compensating for dietary failures are distributed more variably. The severity of these behavioural disturbances suggest that approximately 50 per cent of these patients would be currently classified as subclinical. Despite this, the psychological profile of the sample is equivalent to diagnosed eating disordered samples and identifies significant amounts of psychopathology. The study argues for a broadening of the empirical approaches to the understanding and treatment of all patients with disorders of eating and weight control.