Anorexia Nervosa


According to DSM-5, anorexia nervosa (AN) is the “undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation.” To be diagnosed with AN, someone must be restricting their calorie intake; have an intense fear of gaining weight/becoming fat, even at a low weight; and have a disturbance in the way they perceive their body shape.

An influencing factor for AN is objectification theory, along with social factors, like media influence, as a result of this, women with acute anorexia report a greater sense of achievement in their lives the lower their body weight, unlike either recovered anorexics or matched controls. This causes a serious problem in society. For example, despite Miss America beauty contestants becoming 2% taller since the 1920’s, their body weight has decreased by 12% and their BMI’s are now below the World Health Organisation’s underweight cutoff of 18.5.


  • Priority one: weight gain – beginning on a low-calorie diet and building to higher calorie meals over 8-12 weeks. Priority two: psychological change – therapy aids patients in learning control, and to develop a stronger sense of independence, while cognitive therapy aims to change false assumptions. Recovery rates of AN are around 24-75%.

Key Definition:

Objectification theory: The continuous emphasis on appearance, with a socially desirable appearance, supposedly leading to positive social esteem.

NWK Anorexia

Model of key objectification theory tenets, “Sexual Objectification of Women : Advances to Theory and Research”, Source: Semantic Scholar, Retrieved from:, 12 December, 2018.



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