Anorexia nervosa is a disorder in which a person loses weight and maintains a weight lower than normally expected. Often (but not always) people who develop anorexia nervosa become preoccupied with thoughts about dieting and other methods of weight loss (such as exercise). Foods containing fat are typically avoided. Frequently, people with anorexia nervosa do not see themselves as having a disorder and sometimes feel frustrated or angry with family, friends, or colleagues who express concern.

Anorexia nervosa has been described in the medical literature for hundreds of years. Once considered to have been a rare disorder, it does seem to have become more common in current times, particularly in societies that emphasize thinness as a desirable physical attribute.

Elliot Goldner, MD 
in association with the MediResource Clinical Team