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What are the key features of anorexia nervosa?

  • Refusal to sustain a minimally normal body weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight despite being underweight
  • Distorted view of ones body weight, or denial of the dangers of ones low weight

There are two types of anorexia. In the restricting type, weight loss is achieved by restricting calories. Restricting anorexics follow drastic diets, go on fasts, and exercise to excess. In the purging type, people get rid of calories they’ve consumed by vomiting or using laxstives and diuretics.

Anorexia is the most common in girls during adolescents, but an increasing number of men suffer from it as well. Anorexia usually starts with extreme dieting and exercise, but as the pounds come off, the desire to loose more weight is triggered, and the disease might start to take over.

Some eating and food behavior signs and symptoms include:

  • Dieting despite being thin
  • Obsession with calories, fat grams and nutrition
  • Pretending to eat or lying about eating
  • Preeccupation with food
  • Strange or secretive food rituals

If you or a loved one has anorexia then call the National Eating Disorders Association’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-931-2237

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