This is a project for my Intro to Pyschology class on anorexia nervosa.

Essay by muzicaitHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2003

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Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is disorder characterized by a refusal to maintain normal weight, intense preoccupation with and unrealistic fear of weight gain, self-starvation, a distorted body image, and by the cessation of menstruation in women. The name comes from two Latin words meaning "nervous inability to eat". The process of eating becomes an obsession. Unusual eating habits develop, such as avoiding food and meals, carefully weighing and portioning food, and selecting a few foods and eating only those in small quantities (i.e. lettuce, crackers, and fruit).

Affected Population

- Anorexia has been considered as a disorder of upper- and middle-class white women - Current studies show members of both sexes, all races and all social classes affected

- On average 0.5 to 4 percent of females suffer from anorexia in their lifetime

- Disorder tends to begin during adolescence and early twenties

- However, disorder can be present as late as mid-40's and in children as young as seven years old

- Approximately 1% of women between ages 12 and 25

- Do men get this disorder? If yes, then what percentage are male cases out of all cases?

- Originally thought that only 5% of anorexics are male but that statistic is rising up closer to 10 %

The Causes

- What do you think some causes of anorexia are?

- Exact cause of the disease is not yet known but it results from a combination of cultural, interpersonal, and biological factors

- Increase in frequency of anorexia is thought to stem from increase in the idealization of thinness as a symbol of beauty

- Adolescent onset is linked to the crisis caused by connection between the changing of one's body and society's overstressed importance on looks (especially that of women)

- Risk of disorder is higher amid...