What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where a person eats and drinks very little on purpose because they want to be thin or they are afraid of gaining weight. The person may see themselves as overweight even when they are not.

A person can start by trying to eat in a healthy way, but then they might start to think more and more about how much they’re eating. Later, they start to eat less and less food and count the calories of the food they eat, hoping that it will help them to reach their goal weight.

Some people may start doing this because they feel pressure to be a certain body size and shape. Eating disorders like anorexia can be dangerous for your health because they cause unhealthy weight loss and your body loses nutrients. This can cause sickness and even death.

You might be at risk of being anorexic if you:

·         pretend to eat when you are with those around you, but are not really eating

·         think you are fat even if those around you disagree

·         have suddenly lost a lot of weight, but are still scared of gaining weight

It is always a good idea to eat healthy food, exercise regularly and stay at a healthy weight, but worrying about your weight should not take over your life. If you are worried about your weight or think you might be eating too much or too little, talk to a nurse or doctor.

For more information on eating healthy, check out our article, “Eat well to stay well: Healthy food, healthy life.”


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