OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eating disorder. Young woman with tape over her mouth, fearful of eating the bun in front of her and gaining weight. A fear of becoming fat characterizes the eating disorder anorexia nervosa (or "slimmers disease"). This is an intense and obsessional fear that leads to the wilful avoidance of food and therefore 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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