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.
American Dietetic Association (1998). Nutrition Intervention in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Chicago: Author.
anorexia nervosa: refusal to maintain body weight at or above what is considered normal for height and age eating disorder: behavioral disorder involving excess consumption, avoidance of consumption, self-induced vomiting, or other food-related aberrant behavior amenorrhea: lack of menstruation binge: uncontrolled indulgence
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.
anthropometric: related to measurement of characteristics of the human body body mass index: weight in kilograms divided by square of the height in meters; a measure of body fat
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