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Is your child suffering from 'almost Anorexia'?

21/04/2013 11:45

“We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need.” – Marya Hornbacher.

It’s no secret that the media makes women who are genuinely underweight seem glamorous and desirable. The trends in fashion have changed over time concerning weight, and the 2010’s seem reserved for these stick thin models (who are almost anorexic) to stand under the spotlight, promoting “weight loss”, a “slight frame” and a “slim figure” – which translates to those with their heads screwed on as  dangerously unhealthy.

A new classification has been defined for those with this body type – the “Almost Anorexic”. Many women and men simply are petite and slim, but it is the individual’s attitude to food and the Self that is important here.

A new book released by Dr Jennifer Thomas covers these borderline disorders, and states that 1 in 20 people suffer from a borderline eating disorder such as almost anorexia. According to Dr Thomas, the five main symptoms of almost anorexia are;

·       Fluctuating weight (dramatically up and down, not steady)

·       Restrictive dieting (can range from eating only certain foods to eating no food at all)

·       Purging (self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives etc.)

·       Binge eating (rapidly consuming an excessive amount of food)

·       Negative body image 

Dr Thomas argues that it is the media’s negative perception of curvier woman combined with an image-obsessed society that influences and encourages people to struggle with food.

How do we know if our loved one is suffering from this? What can we look for?

-        Are they severely underweight?  (with a BMI of 17.5 or less)

-        Do they have an intense fear of “becoming fat”?

-        Do they avoid gaining weight? (vomiting, excessive exercise or counting calories)

-        Do they suffer from body image disturbance? (feel fat even if they are not, a distorted perception)

Dr Thomas argues that suffering from this disorder can lead to serious physical and psychological problems such as, low heart rate, low blood pressure, excess facial and body hair, as well as emotions such as depression, loneliness and fatigue.

For people with friends or loved ones, who display and unhealthy attitude to food, she advises to show concern rather than anger or fear, by sitting them down and talking about it, offering them your help and anything they need or want to do about it, such as seeing a doctor just to check up on things. It might simply help them to know you’re on board and know what they are going through.

For more information, you can buy Dr Thomas’ book here:

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