Anorexia nervosa

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Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and an obsessive fear of gaining weight, often coupled with a distorted self image[1][2] which may be maintained by various cognitive biases[3] that alter how the affected individual evaluates and thinks about her or his body, food and eating. Persons with anorexia nervosa continue to feel hunger, but deny themselves all but very small quantities of food. The average caloric intake of a person with anorexia nervosa is 600-800 calories per day, but in extreme cases self-starvation is more extreme. [4]It is a serious mental illness with a high incidence of comorbidity and the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.[5]

It can affect men and women of all ages, races, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.[6][7][8][9][10] Anorexia nervosa occurs in the ratio of 1:10 in males:females.[11]

The term anorexia nervosa was established in 1873 by Sir William Gull, one of Queen Victoria's personal physicians.[12] The term is of Greek origin: an- (ἀν-, prefix denoting negation) and orexis (ὄρεξις, "appetite"), thus meaning a lack of desire to eat.[13]

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