OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Anorexia nervosa. Young woman with zip fastened around her mouth, fearful of eating food and gaining weight. It is a fear of becoming fat which characterizes the eating disorder anorexia nervosa (or "slimmers disease"). This intense and obsessional fear leads to the wilful avoidance of food and consequent severe weight loss. Sufferers are overactive, and exercise much of the time. As they lose weight they become tired, weak, their hair thins and the menstrual cycle may cease. Food binges may be followed by vomiting or taking laxative drugs. Teenage girls and young women are most often affected.
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