Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme reduction in food intake leading to potentially life-threatening weight loss. This syndrome is marked by an intense, irrational fear of weight gain or excess body fat, accompanied by a distorted perception of body weight and shape. The onset is usually in the middle to late teens and is rarely seen in females over age forty. Among women of menstruating age with this disorder, amenorrhea is common.

A clinical diagnosis of anorexia nervosa necessitates body weight less than 85 percent of average for weight and height. Subtypes of this disorder include the binge eating/purging type (bingeing and purging are present) or the restricting type (bingeing and purging are absent).

SEE ALSO Addiction, Food ; Body Image ; Bulimia Nervosa ; Eating Disorders ; Eating Disturbances .

Karen Ansel


American Dietetic Association (1998). Nutrition Intervention in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Chicago: Author.

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. Washington, DC: Author.

Escott-Stump, Sylvia, and Mahan, L. Kathleen (1996). Krause's Food, Nutrition, and Diet Therapy, 9th edition. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.

Olson, James A.; Shike, Moshe; Shils, Maurice E. (1994). Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Media, PA: Williams & Wilkins.

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