Anorexia Nervosa is a type of eating disorder. This scientific name can be misleading, because it actually means ‘loss of appetite for nervous reasons’. In fact, an anorexic person is very interested in food and is often very hungry. Anorexia Nervosa is more commonly known as Anorexia and is a condition associated with people starving themselves to achieve a particular body image.
Anorexia is a form of intentional self-starvation, which may begin with a normal diet that is carried to extremes, reducing calorie intake to the bare minimum. However, people with Anorexia are perpetually convinced that they are overweight, even after becoming life-threateningly thin. Anorexics tend to have an intense fear of becoming fat; their dieting habits develop from this phobia.
In young people, Anorexia usually occurs around the onset of puberty, mainly affecting adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 25 years. Around 5% of girls in the UK are estimated to be anorexic. The condition is much more infrequent in men; only 1 in 10 anorexics are men, and boys from ethnic minorities are even less likely to be affected. Astonishingly, children as young as aged three have been treated for Anorexia Nervosa.
The symptoms of Anorexia may include:
• Dramatic weight loss or refusal to maintain the minimal normal body weight for one’s age and height
• Basing self-worth on body weight and body image
• Frequent skipping of meals, with excuses for not eating
• Eating only a few foods, especially those low in fat and calories
• Making meals for others, but not eating the meals themselves
• Denying hunger
• Frequent weighing of oneself and focusing on tiny fluctuations in weight
• Wearing baggy clothing to cover up thinness
• Excessive amounts of chewing
• Excessive focus on an exercise regimen
• Frequently looking in the mirror for flaws
• Avoidance of social gatherings where food is involved
• Even when thin, complaining about being overweight
• In females,...