anorexia nervosa

Cultural Dictionary
anorexia nervosa [(an-uh-rek-see-uh nur-voh-suh)]

A psychosomatic disorder in which the sufferer refuses to eat and undertakes activities (such as self-induced vomiting) to bring about extreme weight loss. Anorexia, which is also characterized by a distorted self-image, occurs most often in young women aged twelve to twenty-one and may result in death if medical treatment is not obtained. Treatment for anorexia often includes extensive counseling to reveal underlying emotional problems.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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