Anorexia is a severe physcological disorder.
It is defined as a severe eating disorder in which people refuse to eat while denying that their behavior and appearance, which may become skeletal, is out of the ordinary. Anorexia Nervosa also translates to "nervous loss of appetite" which can be misleading because only in the final stages of this disease do people loose their appetite. The German terminology is Pubertatsmagersucht which means "mania for leanness". .
Anorexia Nervosa is a dramatic loss of weight usually less than eighty percent of the expected weight for height. Thirty to fifty percent of patients with Anorexia also have symptoms of Bulimia. In six to eighteen percent of the cases the disease is fatal, with complications of starvation and suicide. During the teenage years, the average girl requires some 2,200 calories a day and the average boy some 2,800 a day. Several key nutrients are essential for an adolescents" growth including calcium and iron. Calcium like in milk can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia which is not uncommon in youths. Fifteen to twenty percent of people with Anorexia Nervosa starve themselves. Anorexia is not just a disease that affects men it is usually more common in females because of popularity and social issues but it can also affect males. An estimated one in one hundred females between the ages of thirteen and nineteen have Anorexia. Less than one in one thousand males younger than twenty have this disease. .
Anorexia Nervosa usually affects women between the ages of twelve to forty. The percentage of young males with Anorexia is on the rise. About ten percent of people with Anorexia Nervosa are males. The number of African Americans with this disease has also increased dramatically. Research has shown that the people with this disease are usually white, adolescent girls who are perfectionists but lack a sense of independence, intelligent, successful, attractive, and from good homes.