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Psychology; Eating disorders

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  • Essay length: 2379 words
  • Submitted: 15/12/2002
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AS and A Level Healthcare

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Psychology; Eating disorders

Anorexia Nervosa

Onset of an eating disorder typically follows a period of restrictive dieting; however, only a minority of people who diet develop eating disorders. Those who do are emotionally and psychologically vulnerable when they develop the self-destructive behaviors characteristic of an eating disorder (eg, practicing unsafe dieting techniques, taking unproven diet products, and maintaining arbitrary standards of weight). As purveyors of food, nutrition, and health information, registered dietitians should identify and inform health professionals and the lay public of the dangers of fad diets and diet products and should educate the public regarding healthful weight ranges and weight stabilization methods. Dietitians should also discuss risk factors for developing an eating disorder. Such interventions may play an important part in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa is a disorder characterized by deliberate weight loss, induced and/or sustained by the patient. The disorder occurs most commonly in adolescent girls and young women from middle class backgrounds, but adolescent boys and young men may be affected more rarely, as may children approaching puberty and older women up to the menopause. Anorexia nervosa constitutes an independent syndrome in the following sense:

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