Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

West, R.

Series on Health
March 1994

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This report is concerned with people who persistently starve themselves (anorexia nervosa), as well as those who follow chaotic eating patterns (bulimia nervosa). Both conditions are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality.

This paper will attempt to highlight several important aspects of these eating disorders. Chapter two outlines how understanding of the two conditions has developed over time; chapter three discusses their incidence and prevalence; chapter four looks at theories of causation; chapter five examines treatment options and evidence of their effectiveness; chapter six seeks to identify costs to the NHS of these conditions, and chapter seven sets out our conclusions.