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What is Anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa, usually shortened to anorexia, is an eating disorder that involves very low body weight, fear of gaining weight, and the use of extreme behaviors to stay underweight.

Many people who have anorexia strive to be thin by severely restricting food intake, nearly to the point of starvation. Others exercise excessively, use laxatives, or intentionally vomit in an attempt to lose weight. Despite being underweight, those with anorexia often view themselves as overweight.

The What is Anorexia? info sheet provides an overview of the disorder, including anorexia signs and symptoms, frequently asked questions, and basic information about treatment. Use this handout to introduce clients and their families to the topic of anorexia and provide basic education.

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