Anorexia Nervosa in Today's Society

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Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that affects approximately 1 percent of female population in the U.K. This disorder turns people neurotically anxious to reduce body weight or maintain it at abnormally low level. Strict control of calorie intake coupled with distorted perception of physical appearance is the most common characteristic of Anorexia, while the most disturbing tendency about it is the frightening increase in incidence of this disorder over the last decades (Eagles et al, 1995).


Although Anorexia Nervosa mostly affects female population aged 15 - 30, girls under 15 and women above 30 can suffer from this disorder as well. Thus, the oldest patient reported was a woman of 68 without any prior history of eating disorders (Dally, 1984). Anorexia affects certain share of male population: estimated 10 to 15 percent of people with anorexia are men. The highest occurrence of anorexia among males is reported in the age group of young adolescents from 7 to 14 years: nearly 25 percent of anorexia cases in this age group are boys (Herman-Giddens et al, 1997).
Experts identify two types of Anorexia Nervosa: food restricting type, and binge eating (purging). The most common characteristic of the restricting type is substantial reduction in calories intake (normally to 300 to 700 kcal per day) and intensive physical over-exercising. By contrast, in the binging type intake of calories may be either small or as high as several thousand followed by purging - self-induced or pharmacologically conditioned vomiting (Yager & Andersen, 2005: 1481). ...
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