Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Diane E. Taub & Penelope A. McLorg
Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa (self-starvation) and bulimia nervosa (binge-purge syndrome). Although anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa represent different types of disordered eating, both entail a distorted body image and fear of fatness. Specifically, anorexia nervosa involves self-starvation alone or in combination with excessive exercising, occasional binge eating, vomiting, or laxative abuse. An individual with anorexia nervosa refuses to maintain minimum weight for age and height and is at least 15 percent below expected weight. Bulimia nervosa is a pattern of bingeing and self-induced purging. This eating disorder consists of binge eating, followed by vomiting, laxative abuse, enemas, or ipecac use. One's weight is usually normal or close to normal. The reported occurrence of eating disorders increased markedly over the past 30 years. Eating disorders do not exist equally across populations; they have very specific patterns of distribution and are most prevalent in certain cultural contexts and sociodemo-graphic categories. In ...