ALAIN DEX, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALAIN DEX, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Anorexia nervosa. Young woman dressed as a ballerina, looks anxiously at her lunch, fearful of eating and gaining weight. This fear of becoming fat characterizes the eating disorder anorexia nervosa (or "slimmers disease"). Such obsessional fear leads to the 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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