Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight, distorted body image and an obsessive fear of gaining weight.

The term anorexia is of Greek origin: a (α, prefix of negation), n (ν, link between two vowels) and orexis (ορεξις, appetite), thus meaning a lack of desire to eat.

Anorexia has an incidence of between 8 and 13 cases per 100,000 persons per year and an average prevalence of 0.3% using strict criteria for diagnosis. The condition largely affects young adolescent females, with females between 15 and 19 years old making up 40% of all cases. Furthermore, the majority of cases are unlikely to be in contact with mental health services. Approximately 90% of people with anorexia are female.