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What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Individuals with anorexia are unable or unwilling to maintain a body weight that is normal or expected for their age and height.

Anorexia Nervosa Statistics

Click here to download an Anorexia Nervosa infographic.

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Inadequate food intake leading to a weight that is clearly too low.
  • Intense fear of weight gain, obsession with weight and persistent behavior to prevent weight gain.
  • Self-esteem overly related to body image.
  • Inability to realize the seriousness of the situation.
  • Binge-eating/purging type involves binge-eating and/or purging behaviors during the last three months.
  • Restricting type does not involve binge eating or purging.

(source: National Eating Disorder Association NEDA)

Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Dramatic weight loss.
  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams and dieting.
  • Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against categories of food (e.g. no carbohydrates, etc.)
  • Frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight despite weight loss.
  • Anxiety about gaining weight or being “fat.”
  • Denial of hunger.
  • Development of food rituals (e.g. eating foods in certain orders, excessive chewing, rearranging food on a plate).
  • Consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food.
  • Excessive, rigid exercise regimen despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury; the need to “burn off” calories taken in.
  • Withdrawal from usual friends and activities.
  • In general, behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting and control of food are becoming primary concerns.

(source: National Eating Disorder Association NEDA)

At Walden, our continuum of care, allows us to treat individuals who might be at various stages of the illness. At each level of care, we address the needs of the whole person. We begin treatment with an in-depth understanding of each patient’s needs and develop a comprehensive plan that addresses the whole person — mind, body and spirit.

Walden’s Anorexia Nervosa Treatment Services