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What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which preoccupation with dieting and thinness leads to excessive weight loss. If you suffer from this disease, you may not acknowledge that weight loss or restricted eating is a problem, and you may "feel fat" even when you're emaciated. Women with anorexia intentionally starve themselves or exercise excessively in a relentless pursuit to be thin, losing more than 15% of their normal body weight. Roughly half of all women suffering from anorexia never return to their pre-anorexic health, and about 20% remain chronically ill. The death rate for anorexia is among the highest of any psychiatric illness. The deaths are about evenly divided between suicide and medical complications related to starvation 
Brooke Randolph
Marriage & Family Therapy
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder primarily defined by low body weight -- less than 85 percent of a healthy weight -- and an exaggerated view of one's own body. Those suffering from anorexia nervosa are often highly restrictive with calories and the types of food they eat. There are two types of anorexia nervosa. Those suffering from the restricting type do not regularly binge and purge. Those suffering from the binge-eating-purging type regularly binge and purge.
Anorexia (or anorexia nervosa) is an eating disorder centered around an obsessive fear of weight gain. Anorexia involves self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Although anorexia is a psychological disorder, the physical consequences are serious and sometimes life-threatening.
The medical term anorexia refers to any abnormal loss of the appetite for food. Anorexia nervosa is a dangerous mental disorder that causes an overwhelming fear of gaining weight, even among those who are underweight. People with anorexia nervosa may also suffer from low self-esteem and can be obsessed with their body image and weight.
Michele Borba
Psychology
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder in which the child is terrified of weight gain or being fat and severely restricts calories. Anorexia nervosa is one of the three major medically recognized eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder marked by an intense fear of gaining weight, a refusal to maintain a healthy weight, and a distorted body image. People with anorexia nervosa have an abnormal loss of appetite for food, try to avoid eating, and eat as little as possible.

This answer is based on source information from National Cancer Institute.
Anorexia nervosa (or simply anorexia) is an eating disorder in which people intentionally starve themselves. It causes extreme weight loss, which the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), defines as at least 15 percent below the individual's normal body weight. Food and weight become obsessions. Compulsiveness may cause strange eating rituals or the refusal to eat in front of others. It is not uncommon for people with anorexia to collect recipes and prepare gourmet feasts for family and friends, but not partake in the meals themselves. They may also adhere to strict exercise routines to keep off weight.

Each year millions of people in the United States are affected by serious and sometimes life-threatening eating disorders. More than 90 percent of those afflicted are adolescent and young adult women. It is suggested that the reason women in this age group are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders is because of their tendency to go on strict diets to achieve an "ideal" figure. Researchers have found that such stringent dieting can play a key role in triggering eating disorders.

The consequences of eating disorders can be severe -- 5 percent to 20 percent of cases of anorexia nervosa leads to death from starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications, or suicide.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.